Time run­ning out for PKNS play­ers

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TO­DAY’S match against Kedah at Shah Alam Sta­dium is the last chance for un­der­per­form­ing play­ers from PKNS to show progress or risk be­ing dropped when the trans­fer win­dow opens on May 15.

Many ex­pected newly pro­moted PKNS to make a last­ing im­pres­sion fol­low­ing sev­eral top sign­ings but E. Elavarasan’s side are still strug­gling to find their foot­ing.

PKNS are just above the rel­e­ga­tion zone at 10th with 10 points.

There could be a glim­mer of hope for PKNS to­day as Kedah will not have the ser­vices of four reg­u­lars.

Aus­tralian cen­tre-back Zachary An­der­son and Ab­dul Halim Saari are nurs­ing in­juries while Kosovo mid­fielder Liri­don Kras­niqi and right-back Rizal Ghaz­ali are sus­pended.

Kedah, who ended their four­match win­less run in the 1-0 suc­cess over Tereng­ganu in the semi-fi­nal first leg of the FA Cup on April 30 in Alor Star, will leapfrog Pa­hang into sec­ond po­si­tion if they beat PKNS.

Elavarasan hopes his team will take ad­van­tage against a weak­ened Kedah to­day.

“Kedah de­pend a lot on their for­eign­ers. I think the ab­sence of An­der­son and Kras­niqi may help us get a good re­sult,” Elavarasan told Time­s­port yes­ter­day.

“Only Safee is sus­pended. The rest are avail­able for the game. We are plan­ning to make changes to our squad when the trans­fer win­dow opens.

“We def­i­nitely need to as we re­ally need to im­prove our over­all per­for­mance in the re­main­der of the sea­son. We are just one spot above the rel­e­ga­tion zone and this is not a good place to be.”

The coach is con­fi­dent that once his team are beefed up, they will be able to do bet­ter and maybe end the sea­son in the top six bracket.

“The gap is small be­tween teams in the bot­tom half and a win to­day will place us higher up,” said Elavarasan, whose team have not won a league game since the 3-0 vic­tory over Perak on Feb 11.

PKNS played in the Sul­tan of Selangor Cup against a Sin­ga­pore se­lec­tion side at Na­tional Sta­dium last week­end. De­spite a promis­ing show, the team lost 3-2.

“I think we did de­cently. We could have scored a third had Safee net­ted from the penalty spot. The ex­pe­ri­ence has given us a boost for our league cam­paign,” Elavarasan added.

Kedah care­taker coach Nidzam Adzha Yu­soff said his fringe play­ers will need to per­form above ex­pec­ta­tions to cover the four ab­sent reg­u­lars.

“I be­lieve they will do the job just fine as they have been part of the team for a long time. The cru­cial thing is that the play­ers must play to in­struc­tions to get a good re­sult,” said Nidzam.

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