RE­DEMP­TION

New Straits Times - - Sport -

Dol­lah is one of the few who have achieved suc­cess both as a player and coach, and he hopes to con­tinue his im­pres­sive cre­den­tials by guid­ing Pa­hang to the FA Cup crown on Satur­day.

The for­mer in­ter­na­tional striker has at­tained suc­cess with ev­ery club that he coached, ex­cept for the medi­ocre sea­son with Perlis in 2016.

Pa­hang’s en­try into the FA Cup fi­nal has given Dol­lah some brag­ging rights as many had crit­i­cised him dur­ing his 15month ten­ure as the na­tional coach, which ended with the em­bar­rass­ing 10-0 thrash­ing by the United Arab Emi­rates in a World Cup Qual­i­fy­ing match in Abu Dhabi in Sept, 2015.

Al­though the ham­mer­ing in Abu Dhabi still af­fects Dol­lah emo­tion­ally, he wants to put it be­hind him and fo­cus on turn­ing Pa­hang into a ma­jor force in the MLeague.

Dol­lah has chal­lenged him­self to help Pa­hang re­gain their glory days and over­take Darul Ta’zim as the top team in Malaysian foot­ball.

“Crit­ics are ev­ery­where. Some­times they will still find rea­sons to crit­i­cise you even when your team are do­ing well. Frankly, I don’t care… they can say what­ever they want about me,” said Dol­lah after the match.

“I just want to fo­cus on Pa­hang. I want them to re­gain their glory days. Peo­ple will for­get you if you fail to win and that is why we must beat Kedah in the FA Cup fi­nal.

“Pa­hang have not achieved their max­i­mum yet. We can get bet­ter. I think what we have achieved so far is re­mark­able as we only started se­ri­ous prepa­ra­tions last De­cem­ber.”

On Satur­day, though Pa­hang were im­pres­sive only in patches, they scored two goals from three chances. Ne­gri dom­i­nated the sec­ond half and cre­ated 11 op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“The strat­egy against Ne­gri was to get an early goal and we achieved it. But there were anx­ious mo­ments after the break as my play­ers did not fol­low my in­struc­tions.

“I told them dur­ing the break to play a dis­ci­plined game and also to sup­port each other in de­fence and at­tack. How­ever, they tried to play safe and de­fended. It only cre­ated prob­lems for the team. We were lucky as Ne­gri were poor in their fin­ish­ing,” he said.

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