Alfonso did not do his job, says Maniam

Zulhilmi Zainal
Selangor head coach P. Maniam substituted off pre-season signing Alfonso de la Cruz just 32 minutes into their MSL clash against Pahang.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Selangor head coach Maniam Pachaiappan tried to keep a cool demeanour, following their 3-1 defeat to Pahang in round four of the Malaysia Super League on Saturday.

The defeat is their second consecutive defeat in the league, after they had fallen to a 4-1 away trouncing to Terengganu in round three.

Commenting on the match that was held at the KLFA Stadium, Cheras, Maniam remarked that the visitors did a good job of preventing them from utilsing the flanks as they usually do.

"Their attackers pressed our defenders, denying us from playing build-up plays. That's why we could not create chances. Their tactic was really good.

"We played well in the first half, but early in the second we conceded another goal. That really killed the game. We could have come back if we had not conceded that goal," explained the former Malaysia international in the post-match press conference.

When asked about his decision to take off Alfonso de la Cruz in the 32nd minute of the match, Maniam hinted that he is disappointed in the pre-season signing, but declined to comment on the Spanish midfielder's future.

"He's been working hard, but he did not do his job," said the 49-year old coache. "He hasn't been involved in build-ups. Only after taking him off and bringing on Ilham (Udin Armaiyn) did we see improvements in that department.

"I have no comment on that (Alfonso's future)."

And he brushed off Selangor fans' criticism of his tactics after the two defeats, when pointed out by Goal; "That's normal. It's their opinion."

For now, Maniam wants to concentrate on his team's next match; their round two FA Cup encounter against third-tier side MOF FC, and he intends to rely on his more-experienced players' experience to turn the Red Giants' form around.

"This is normal even in the more-established leagues, whereby teams sometimes lose two, three games in a row. We have experienced players like Amri (Yahyah), Razman (Roslan) and Rufino (Segovia).

"They understand what we are going through and these are the players with the experience to bounce back again," pointed out the former Selangor player.