BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
July will be a tough time for M-League clubs that have qualified for the Malaysia Cup. Not only will they have to play in nine matches in the space of one month, but teams with Malaysia U22 internationals within their ranks are also set to be without these young players, as the Malaysia junior team are scheduled to take part in the U23 AFC Championship qualifiers in Bangkok, from 19 to 23 July.
One of the teams expected to be be without these players is Selangor, which have had three of their players; Kannan Kalaiselvan, Adam Nor Azlin and Syahmi Safari called up by Malaysia head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee for centralised training and their recent friendly series in China.
Many clubs have voiced out their reluctance to release their players before, but despite the fixtures congestion and the possibility of losing the trio, Selangor boss Maniam Pachaiappan is not reluctant whatsoever to let Kim Swee have their services.
"We have to agree with the national (team) to release the players. At the same time we have to prepare for the absence of the three players.
"Now Raimi (Noor) is there already, and right back Nama (Namathevan Arunasalam) as well Satish (Krishnan). But they have to improve and at the same time we will change the system a bit, according to the game," explained the former Selangor player when met by the press earlier this week.
According to Maniam, he has also got the team playing in different formations, in preparation for the remainder of the season.
"They (the team) have picked up the changes and working very hard. We haven't just been working on the 4-2-3-1 formation, but also on 3-5-2 and 3-4-3.
"I think my players already understand what they need to do, but they need to familiarise with the systems in actual matches, as well as improve on their defending," Maniam pointed out.