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The Red Warriors’ Croatian head coach Bojan Hodak believes his team has got a bright chance of making the knock-out stage of the AFC Cup next year

Kelantan coach Bojan Hodak is confident his team will qualify for the last 16 stage in next season’s AFC Cup, which will kick-off in March 2013.

The Croatian believes the Red Warriors will start as favourites in Group G alongside SHB Da Nang of Vietnam.

Even so, he exclusively told Goal.com Malaysia that Ayeyawadi United, who beat them in Myanmar last season, would be quite a good challenger for a berth in the knock-out stages as well.

“I think that Da Nang and Kelantan are the favourites but we need to be careful of Ayeyawady, they beat us in Myanmar last season,” he said.

When asked if the departure of their two prolific strikers from last season, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (Johor Darul Takzim) and Mohammad Ghaddar (Felda United) will affect the team’s momentum after a great year, he calmly responded, “Players do come and go. It is understandable for great players to go when they get better offers. I would do the same.”

“In modern football, we can’t just rely on one or two players. We still got talented players in our squad; maybe we can develop them to be better than the two who left.”

“I am confident that we will continue getting good results this season,” he added.

The AFC Cup draw took place on December 6 and saw two of the biggest names in Malaysian football; Kelantan and Selangor being drawn in Group G and H respectively. Both of them will kick-off their campaign on March 6.

Kelantan will welcome Maldives’ Maziah SRC to Kota Bharu, whereas Selangor will travel to Kolkata to play Kingfisher East Bengal of India.

 

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