Kelantan Team Manager Haji Azman Ibrahim rues Red Warriors' packed schedule

Goal Malaysia caught up with Kelantan Team Manager Haji Azman Ibrahim where he revealed the reasons for the Red Warriors' slump in their recent fixtures

By Muhammad Izzat Akmal Ismail

Kelantan and Selangor are arguably two of the best sides in Malaysian football but their performances as of late have been rather dismal.

In the month of April alone, they have had nine games and that statistic is monumental even for big European clubs. I call personally call this the 'April Nightmares'.

So who should be taking the blame for the poor showing by the Red Warriors and the Red Giants? Several fans single out the the coaches for not preparing well, and some put the blame on the players’ for not giving a 100 per cent in the matches.

“My players are tired.”

That has been printed in the papers these days. It is as if Bojan Hodak just got a new trademark of giving excuses after his men lose a match. Somehow, the words keep coming even when they won agaisnt ATM in Paroi in March.

Kelantan manager, Haji Azman during, an exclusive interview with Goal Malaysia stated that there are no other solutions but for the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to be more flexible in scheduling the season’s calendar next year.

“FAM should consider the teams that would have to play more games in one season, especially those that participate in the AFC Cup. We (Kelantan) didn’t have enough rest due to packed schedule.”

According to Azman, Kelantan had to travel to Vietnam, play against Da Nang, then they fly back home to play against ATM before travelling again to Sarawak, Shah Alam and Maldives. All of them were long distance trips. For those matches, Kelantan only recorded two wins; against Da Nang and Sarawak.

“Above all, the FAM should consider the rest period for a team after a long trip,” he added.

Irfan Bakti, also, couldn’t hide his dissapointment during the loss to New Radiant SC. He said: “We only played for 90 minutes and after that we couldn’t concentrate enough.”

It is all up to the FAM to resolves this matter and Azman was hoping that they can be more linient towards this matter.