BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
When asked by Goal on his plans for Selangor's final Malaysia Cup group match against Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), the Red Giants' head coach Maniam Pachaiappan confidently sounded out his intention, that his charges are coming to Larkin to win.
This Saturday, Selangor will play their last Group D match against JDT, with both teams having already secured their places in the quarter-final stage.
Both teams are currently tied on 10 points, but Saturday's home side have the superior goal difference, which means that Selangor have to defeat JDT in order to snatch the top spot and the more advantageous quarter-final slot.
"We will make history this Saturday," remarked Maniam when met after his team's training session on Thursday, referring to his desire to defeat JDT a third time this season.
JDT have undoubtedly proven themselves too strong for other Malaysian clubs this season, having secured their fourth consecutive Malaysia Super League (MSL) title with three rounds remaining.
But Selangor remain the thorn in JDT's side, having recorded two wins and one draw against the league champions out of all three of their encounters across all competitions this season.
A win for the 33-time Malaysia Cup champions this Saturday would also mean another thing; bringing an end to JDT's 42-match unbeaten streak in all competitions at home, a record that stretched all the way from 28 November 2015.
And in order to do that, Maniam is prepared to ditch the ultra-defensive tactics employed by his side the last time they played at Larkin; a February 21 league encounter that ended in a goalless draw.
"We will not neglect defending, but we will be more on the attack this time around.
"We have Amri [Yahyah], Forkey [Doe] and Andik [Vermansah], while Rufo (Rufino Segovia) is fit again. We are prepared to punish them (JDT) if these players are given space," remarked the 48-year old trainer.
Speaking on the availability of his players this Saturday, Maniam said that only two of his men are expected to be absent, while defender and recent SEA Games star performer Adam Nor Azlin is expected to recover in time for the match, from a knock he picked up earlier.
"Raimi [Noor] is unikely to be fielded, while goalkeeper Khairulazhan Khalid is still down with a fever.
"We gave him some time off from training to recover, and he is expected to return next week," he noted.