BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Having seen Selangor see off state rivals PKNS FC in the FA Cup semi-finals 5-1 on aggregate to book a place in the final match, team manager Datuk Abdul Rauf Ahmad has credited their fans' constant reminder for the team to maintain a winning mentality for their cup run.
Since the start of the season, the Red Giants' ultras, who call themselves the Ultrasel, have featured the catchphrase 'Mentaliti Juara' (a champion's mentality) prominently in their social media postings and hashtags, as well on their match banners and tifos. Apart from this, the vocal group of Selangor supporters too have constantly urged the club to reach Asian club competitions, by way of winning the Super League or the FA Cup.
These sentiments have apparently been taken to heart by the squad in their cup campaign according to Rauf, when asked about the team's preparedness to play in Asia, should they win the cup.
Abdul Rauf. Photo by Zulhilmi Zainal
"We are definitely ready for Asia. We want to realise the fans' dream, and all this while they have been urging us to keep a winning mentality.
"We want the AFC Cup to be our next playing field," Rauf told Goal after their 1-1 second leg draw against PKNS, on Saturday.
But before they could make arrangements to return to continental action, Rauf said that first Selangor need to prepare for the final match, which will be held on July 7, Saturday at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
"We deserve to be in the final, but it will be a different game altogether. Regardless of whom our opponents will be, it will be a tough match, but we want to lift the cup at the end of the game.
"The team will undergo a recovery process first, and when I talked to the head coach (Nazliazmi Nasir) just now, he said he wanted to hold a few test matches in the one week before next Saturday," he explained.
Rauf, who is also a vice president at the club, also took the time to dedicate the semi-final win to the Raja Muda (Crown Prince) of the state of Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah Ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, who is set to take over the role of association president on July 3.
"Our good current form is partly due to the impending arrival of RMS (Tengku Amir's moniker) in the coming week. It has been such a morale boost to the players.
"This is our gift to him; when everything is finalised on July 3, he can join us at the Bukit Jalil on Saturday," stated the former player.
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