After a grueling and punishing schedule of eight fixtures over the course of 26 days, Benjamin Mora welcomes the eight days break that his Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) side has had since their last match.
A match every third day for an entire month is a very taxing schedule on the players and it showed in their last performance against Penang. The drop in pace especially in the second half of that Super League match was evident that it has taken its toll on the players.
A refreshed JDT will be able to go all out again tonight against Magwe FC in the final group match action of the 2017 AFC Cup and Mora is undoubtedly delighted with the longer recovery period that he can afford his players.
"Our preparation for the match against Magwe FC is at its best, especially after we had a long rest period of eight days. We're excited to win the match at home tomorrow [Wednesday]. I'm sure the players will give their 120% commitment to meet the goal and task set for them."
"We also want to do our best so that JDT qualify for the ASEAN Zonal semi-finals and move one step closer to the championship," said Mora through a statement on the club's website.
If JDT are to keep their destiny in their own hands, Mora will be mindful of the previous draw against Magwe and probably be reluctant to take risk by fielding a first XI complete with fringe players.
A mixture of his normal starting XI with those that are normally on the bench is likely to be the route Mora will go for come kick-off time. The upcoming weekend match against Melaka United isn't the most difficult of fixtures and even squad rotation there could work in favour of JDT.
JDT need a win or at least a draw against Magwe to secure qualification to the knockout stage of the AFC Cup. They won't be completely out if Magwe somehow managed to win but it would definitely complicate matters, needing JDT to rely on results elsewhere.