Haji Abdul Rahman: LionsXII can be champions

The PKNS Head Coach believes that the table-topping Singapore side have the edge in the Malaysian Super League title race this season with four games left to go
By Eddie Ridzwan

The LionsXII extended their lead at the top of the Malaysian Super League (MSL) table with a 3-1 win over PKNS FC at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Monday night, prolonging their perfect home record to nine wins out of nine.

Speaking after the match, PKNS coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim did not feel that the infamous problematic pitch at Jalan Besar was the cause of his team’s defeat.

"I wouldn’t say that the field is a problem, we have played here before and we should know how the field would be," he said.

"What is important is our tactical approach and how we play against [LionsXII]."

Abdul Rahman also did not seem to be affected or surprised by the outcome of the game.

"I know coming here to win is an impossible task, given their record," he claimed.

"So the plan was to delay the LionsXII goal, which was why we were playing defensively and waiting for the counter attacks [for our chances]

"We were supposed to hold on to the draw for about half an hour more to frustrate the LionsXII players.

"Unfortunately, they were two goals up within 10 minutes of the restart and it was impossible for us to get anything from the match."

Abdul Rahman was then asked if their conquerors could be champions of the MSL this year and he indicated that it was highly possible.

"I believe I was posed with this question last year too and this year it is a different thing all over," he said.

"Last year, Terengganu and Kelantan were very strong but this year, Johor Darul Takzim’s surge into the top has seen them grab some strong Malaysian players into the team; in fact they, have a total of six national team players.

"LionsXII have the edge over the other Malaysian teams [this season].

"They have four more games and are four points clear of the second-placed team.

"I believe the second, third and fourth teams will kill each other off in the last few rounds when they face each other.

"LionsXII have the discipline and willpower to be champions."