The Red Warriors Manager, Azman Ibrahim, has expressed his concern on the possible rise of the teams who have not performed to their full potential this season as Kelantan look to try and retain their Malaysia Cup this August.
According to him, previous seasons saw teams which did not perform well in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) put up great performances when it came to the Malaysia Cup.
Azman said that Negeri Sembilan did it in 2010 and 2011 where they were under-performing in the MSL, but made it to the final each year, while ATM, who last season were playing in the Malaysian Premier League, made it into the final in 2012.
Speaking to Sinar Harian, Azman said: "Every year there will be teams who suddenly play well, [better] than they ever in the whole season.
"For me, there are no favourites in the competition despite our title as the defending champions.
"Take Sarawak and Sime Darby FC; they are from the Premier League, but they will play in the Super League next season.
"Kedah are also a strong team as they gave [Darul Takzim] a good fight in the FA Cup," he added.
Azman realises that it will be tough to defend their title this season and they need to work harder if they are to make it into the final.