Sathia: We got to be above ourselves against PKNP

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Felda's B. Sathianathan remains quietly confident that his charge could yet overturn a 3-1 loss in the first leg, to reach the 2017 Malaysia Cup semis

Felda United have it all to do in the second leg of the Malaysia Cup quarterfinal against PKNP FC as they look to overturn a two-goal deficit from the first leg.

The plucky Premier League side upstaged Felda 3-1 last week when the two teams met in the first leg at Tun Abdul Razak Stadium. Shahrel Fikri was the toast of the visitors that night, snatching a hat trick against The Fighters.

With the match being played at Shah Alam Stadium on Sunday, instead of PKNP's usual home ground of Perak Stadium, Felda's head coach B. Sathianathan doesn't think that the change will impact his team ahead of the crunch encounter.

"It's doesn't make any difference. If PKNP fans want to support, they can come over, it's only a 2 hours drive. Only thing is that we don't travel and we train here. And the boys are playing on grass. That's very important. We have an artificial pitch there and sometimes it doesn't work to our advantage because I don't train there."

"I don't believe in training on artificial because there will be a lot of injuries. I think they should stop all these artificial grounds. Malaysia has nice weather. I can't change that because it's already been built and Jengka is our home. We'll give it a few more years and hopefully there might be changes there," said Sathianathan to Goal after Saturday's training session.

Shah Alam Stadium will not be a strange ground to Felda as they have played there several times in the past few years, including hosting AFC Cup matches there earlier this season. 

Sathianathan will be looking to rely on the front trio of Thiago Augusto, Ifedayo Olusegun and Wan Zack Haikal to find the goals necessary to take Felda into the semi-final stage where they could potentially face Kedah.

The experienced coach wants his players to believe in themselves and take the chances they will create in the match, putting down the first leg defeat as one of those matches where it was an off night for Felda.

"Very slim [to qualify] but it's not impossible. They scored 3 and I think we should be able to score as well, if we take our chances well. Last game, they played very well and took their chances. They were very disciplined but we got to be above ourselves. We got to believe in ourselves."

"It's going to be difficult but as long as the boys give me 100% and play true to themselves, I'll be happy no matter what the result. That was one of our off games and this season we had 3 of those and one of it was against PKNP. But credit to PKNP, defensively they played well and they have two good foreigners up front. 

"Shahrel Fikri's every touch was a goal. If happens like that every time, I should buy him. He's a good player. But I can't put a marker on him because I'm looking for goals, I've got to gamble," added Sathianathan.

Should the first choice trio face any difficulties, Sathianathan have options from the bench where the likes of Norshahrul Idlan and Hadin Azman could step in if necessary. Having gone out of the Malaysia Cup last year at the same stage, Felda will be going all out on Sunday to ensure that they better their achievement from last year.

 

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