The Kelantan FA head coach claimed that LionsXII deserved to win the Super League title, but was quick to decline the idea of having a guard of honour for them this weekend
The Red Warriors' final league game is against newly-crowned Malaysia Super League champions LionsXII this weekend at the Sultan Muhammad IV Stadium in Kota Bharu.
When asked on the possibility of Kelantan forming a guard of honour for LionsXII, coach Bojan Hodak only had this to say: "We are not playing in the English Premier League."
But Hodak has respect for the Singapore side and believes that rivals LionsXII deserved to win the Malaysian Super League title, pointing out their consistency as the biggest factor.
The Singapore-based side replaced Kelantan as champions after their 4-0 win over Felda United on Tuesday and Hodak wasn't surprised at all.
"LionsXII were the most consistent team throughout the season," Hodak told Goal in an exclusive interview.
"They have quite a number of Singapore internationals in the squad, as well as U-23 players. So tactically, they were very discplined as well.
"With such consistency, they definitely deserved to win the title."
The Red Warriors have had a frustrating Super League season thus far, failing to impress early on in the season, although they did slowly crawl back into form. Nonetheless, Hodak refused to label this season as a failure for them, despite their inability to retain the Malaysian Super League title.
"It is important to understand that we lost some very key players from last year's treble-winning squad. And we couldn't sign adequate replacements in time as well," he explained.
"Faiz Subri, Dickson and Fakri Saarani all joined us a bit later so technically we needed time for them to gel into the squad.
"Our fixtures were packed as well, but you could see that as the season progressed, our performances only improved and we've been playing really well recently."
Having won the FA Cup last weekend, Kelantan's attention will visibly shift to the Malaysia Cup competition, which is scheduled to kick-off in August.
Follow Keeshaanan Sundaresan on