BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After guiding Selangor to a 1-1 away draw against Kedah on Saturday, the Red Giants boss Maniam Pachaiappan admitted that his men took a negative approach throughout the game.
When the visitors went in front unexpectedly through Veenod Subramaniam's 16th minute goal, they almost immediately disrupted the tempo of the match and utilised time-wasting tactics, although at that point there were still over 70 minutes left in the match.
The hosts were able to equalise through Ken Ilsø Larsen's goal in the 30th minute, and Selangor adopted a more defensive approach which worked in their favour, and the match ended in a draw.
But according to Maniam in the post-match press conference, his men had to adopt the tactics due to the early injury to Spanish forward Rufino Segovia, and their objective in the clash.
Rufino had to be stretchered off the pitch in the 24th minute, with Fittri Shazwan replacing him.
"Rufino got injured, and that's why we could not play more attacking football.
"Throughout the match, we had to play a negative, defensive game, but our target was to collect one point," explained Maniam.
Rufino's injury and the suspension of three of their key players too affected their objective and gameplay, according to goalscorer Veenod.
Amri Yahyah, Andik Vermansah and Razman Roslan were suspended for the Kedah match, after having picked up accumulated bookings in their 1-0 win against Perak last Tuesday.
"We came here aiming for a draw, but if Amri, Andik and Rufino were there, we would have gone for the win," said the utility man.
When asked about his thoughts on scoring his side's only goal in the match, Veenod said he was proud of it and credited his teammates' hardwork.
"I'm very proud, we came here to collect one point.
"The boys did their best and we will continue this momentum," explained Veenod in the press conference.
However Maniam told the press that the suspended trio will return to the lineup in the Red Giants' next match; a Malaysia Cup home tie against JDT this Tuesday.
"Next we'll be playing against JDT in the Malaysia Cup.
"Amri, Andik and Razman will return so I will be able to rotate the players," said the former Selangor player.