Perak are in for a fight of their lives on Sunday when they take on heavy favourites Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) in the first leg of the Malaysia Cup semi-final. The Bos Gaurus have an injury crisis in midfield and it's a real dampener on their chances to reach the final.
Since Mehmet Durakovic took over the duties at Perak, he has found a working formula in midfield. One which comprised of Hafiz Kamal and Leandro Dos Santos at the base of the midfield, with Nasir Basharuddin and Nazrin Nawi on either side of the central duo.
The combination between the four has a lot of grit, determination, strength and guile - helping Perak to top their group ahead of Felda United while pushing the team closer to the top of the table in the Super League.
However, injuries and otherwise have taken it's toll on the combination and come the opening whistle on Sunday, Nasir looks to be the only one remaining from the quartet that will start against JDT at Perak Stadium.
The central midfielder who can also operate in a wider role, is not overly concerned with the missing team mates. Opting to point out that Perak had already dispatched Pahang in the previous round, despite facing almost similar issues.
"I don't see it as a problem. We also faced the same issue when we played Pahang in the quarterfinal. I think whoever comes in, are ready to be part of the first XI. We have to focus to find goals, as much as we can for us to take to Larkin. We know they are strong at home, so we'll need a lead to take there."
"Yes [full stadium will motivate us]. If we play in an empty stadium, it may feel boring. Since the fans are expected to come out in full force, I think it will inspire us to do much better," Nasir told Goal on Saturday.
A former captain of the team, Nasir has found his groove again under Durakovic, which eventually led to national team recall back in late August. The 27-year-old who originates from Taiping, is determined to send his home state into the final of the Malaysia Cup for the first time since 2007.