The Kelantan head coach foresees difficulties for the Red Warriors as they gun for their second piece of silverware this season on August 20 in the Malaysia Cup
Being drawn in the toughest group for the upcoming Malaysia Cup, the Red Warriors' boss, Bojan Hodak, remains realistic of is side's chances, saying that winning this championship is relatively harder than the FA Cup.
Although he successfully brought Kelantan FA Cup glory for two consecutive years, Hodak still thinks that toppling rivals, Terengganu and Pahang will be very difficult.
During an exclusive interview, he told Goal about Kelantan’s chances to defend their Malaysia Cup crown.
"It is quite a tough group we've been drawn into. Terengganu and Pahang put up a tough fight this season; Pahang had a very good season and if not for their inconsistency in the league, we might not have finished fourth in the league, and, Terengganu, also, almost dent our hopes in the FA Cup final."
The Croatian also gave his comments regarding Negeri Sembilan who had a very dissapointing season resulting in their relegation to the Premier League next season.
"Negeri [Sembilan] had a very poor season and they were relegated but the Malaysia Cup will be the place for them to prove something. They have some good players that can surprise us. If you look at their results this season, nobody thrashed them and I think our 3-0 victory against them was their biggest loss in the league. We should never underestimate them."
When asked who he thought were the contenders to win the cup, Hodak added: "The top six teams in the Super League can win this cup. LionsXII, Selangor, Darul Takzim and Kelantan will all have a chance. Plus, ATM and Pahang will always gave us a very hard time. As for the rest, they might just surprise us."
"There is no team that worries me so far, as we are in a good shape. We won the last six mathes in the league and we contained Selangor well in the friendly. So I would say that we are good to go for the win," he added.
Even though he knows that his side will face difficulties in retaining the Malaysia Cup title, Hodak is still confident that they will kick off the competition much better than in the league.
"Earlier this season, we were missing half the squad due to injuries but now we are in very good shape to win it - with Faiz Subri hitting top form and Dickson [Nwakaeme] who has already recovered well and the rest who are raring to go after we won the FA Cup."
"I’m fully aware that we will face really strong competiton, but nothing is impossible. I am optimistic that we can win this cup," Hodak concluded.