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Don’t take Kelantan FC lightly – Rhinos coach

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Ong Kim Swee

KOTA KINABALU(Sept 29): Sabah FC are determined to build on their encouraging start in the Malaysia Cup with a positive result against Kelantan FC in their second Group D match on Thursday.

To be played at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium, Kota Bahru starting 4.45pm, the Rhinos hoped to make improvement from the opening game when they were held 1-1 by PJ City FC on Monday.

“The game against Kelantan FC is very important,” said head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee on Wednesday.

“We must make sure to not drop points against them. This is very important to ensure that the chances of progressing to the next round will remain open for Sabah.

“If we fail to get any points, there is a huge possibility that things will get tougher and challenging for us because we will take on JDT (Johor Darul Ta’zim) after this,” he added.

After the opening game, JDT are top on three points while Sabah and PJ City are tied for second on one point each.

Kelantan FC, who qualified as the fourth best in the second-tier Premier League, languish in the bottom of Group D after their defeat to JDT 2-0.

Despite the defeat and being the only Premier League side in the group, Ong cautioned that the Rhinos must not take their opponents for granted.

“We cannot look down or take Kelantan FC lightly especially when they lost narrowly to JDT in their opening game.

“It showed that Kelantan FC have their own strength and are no pushovers. Furthermore, the match will be played in the evening and this will certainly have a different impact on our team,” he said.

Ong who has only been with Sabah FC for just over a week, added they have made the best possible preparation to face their hosts The Red Warriors, the 2010 and 2012 Malaysia Cup champions.

Ong said the Rhinos did well, especially in the first half of his first game in charge against PJ City, although the squad could not maintain the form in the second period.

“There were many weaknesses exposed in the second half so we have to make improvement.

“We have identified the weaknesses and rectity them in training in the last two or three days after the game against PJ City,” he said.

For the record, the Malaysia Cup will take a one-month break after match day two of the Malaysia Cup group matches.

Sabah FC will host defending champions JDT in Likas when they return to action on October 29.

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