Davies counts on home advantage to help Pahang defeat Melaka a second time

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The Malaysia international also said that the possibility of playing North Korea in Pyongyang is a concern to him, due to recent diplomatic incidents.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Despite Pahang's 3-2 defeat to JDT in the Super League last weekend, their performance this season has been nothing short of enviable. They are second in the league, and this Saturday they will host Melaka United in the FA Cup third round.

This will be the second time that the two sides meet in just two weeks, with their previous match ending in a 3-1 league match win for the Elephants at the Hang Jebat Stadium, on March 25.

Ahead of the Cup tie, Pahang captain Matthew Davies has said that he is banking on their home ground advantage, to help them defeat the Mousedeers a second time, and advance to the next round.

"Hopefully they (the fans) can expect the same performance (in the 3-1 win), we've been really convincing at home this year.

"So hopefully we can continue with that sort of home form and really turn Darul Makmur (Stadium) into a fortress," wrote Davies in a private message to Goal.

When inquired on his thoughts on the Mousedeers' underwhelming performance this season, the defender responded by saying that it is only a matter of time for the promotional side to find their footing in the league.

"I think they are a good team, certainly better when where they are placed right now.

"I think they will take some time to click with their new players, having said that the Super League is definitely a big step up from the Premier League so maybe it will take some time for them to adjust," explained the former Perth Glory man.

Goal also asked the Malaysia international's thoughts on the impending Asian Cup qualification tie between Malaysia and North Korea, which is scheduled to take place in Pyongyang on March 28, and the recent diplomatic incidents involving the two countries.

Malaysia's Matthew Davies in action against Afghanistan 11/10/16

Matthew Davies (left) playing for Malaysia in 2016. Suhaimi Mohamad / CSN Sportstalk

North Korea has very recently barred Malaysian diplomats and citizens from leaving the country, and Malaysia then responded in kind. The escalation took place following the murder of a man believed to be the North Korean president Kim Jong-un's estranged half-brother in Malaysia.

The Malaysian government has barred the Malaysia national team from travelling to North Korea for the match, citing security reasons, although the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) is set to decide whether to move the tie from Pyongyang to a neutral venue later this week.

Safety is a concern for Davies, and for that reason he told us that he prefers if the match is moved to another venue.

"Fingers crossed yes, I'd like for the game to be played at a neutral venue just so that there are no outside distractions, and we can really focus on the game," he wrote.

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