Croatian tactician eager to stay in touch with reality

The Red Warriors' coach plays down expectations after the 3-1 win over Sarawak

“Our next target is Malaysia Cup,” Bojan Hodak told Astro Arena after celebrating the winning of the Malaysian Super League. Kelantan confirmed the title by demolishing Perak 6-0 with two games to go, and received their league trophy after easing past Sarawak with a 3-1 victory yesterday.

Asked about their AFC Cup quarter-final game against Iraqi side Al Arbil FC, he stated that it is going to be quite difficult for them as the competition is beginning to get more challenging. “The AFC Cup has teams from Iraq, Kuwait, Syria and others. It is quite difficult for us to win that one. We have to be realistic.”

Kelantan already have two trophies in their hands; the FA Cup which was won in May and the league title which they recently won for the second consecutive season. This means that they have the chance to repeat Kedah’s achievement of winning all three major trophies contested in a single season when the Malaysia Cup kicks-off in September. 

Players like Badhri Radzi, Mohd Ghaddar, Indraputra Mahyudin and Khairul Fahmi Che Mat have been vital for Kelantan this season and their consistency and positive spirit has helped churn out the results to defend the league title. “We deserve to win this. My players gave their best performance all the way to the end. It is more difficult to retain the title rather than to win it for the first time.” Bojan added.

For the record, Kelantan is the third team to successfully defend the Malaysian Super League title after Kedah and Selangor, since the MSL was introduced in 2004.