BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After he substituted off Felcra FC star Adib Zainuddin at halftime in their first leg FAM Cup semi-final match against Sime Darby on Monday, the Rivals' boss Rosle Md. Derus told the press that he made the decision because the Malaysia U22 star was unwell.
Although Adib and another Malaysia U22 star in Felcra's roster; Thanabalan Nadarajah started the match that was held at the UM Arena, they were held to a goalless draw at home by the Giant Killers.
"Adib had fever but he persevered, and at halftime he told me 'Coach, I can't go on anymore'.
"His temperature was high so I did not want to take any risks, and took him off to rest for the next match (second leg)," he explained.
Adib has received attention in the news in the past week, due to rumours of a move to Malaysian champions and his home state team JDT for the 2018 season.
Rosle admitted that his charges were under pressure in the match, playing in front of their own fans.
"We were under pressure playing at home, as we had to score.
"Our failure to put away the chances we had resulted in us not being able to play as well as we should have," he remarked.
However, he is certain that his men would finish the job in the second leg, as none of them are expected to miss the clash.
"Thankfully none of my players will be suspended for the second leg despite having received bookings.
"And those who were injured only picked up knocks, and I expect them to recover in time for the next game," noted Rosle.
The second leg is scheduled to be held this Sunday, October 8, with the likely venue the Bukit Jelutong pitch.