BY OOI KIN FAI Follow on Twitter
For the second match in as many days at Perak Stadium, the post-match conference did not see a complete turnout of coaches but unlike Tuesday night where Kelantan's Zahasmi Ismail declined to attend, it is the turn of the host Perak who had an absent Karl-Heinz Weigang from his media obligation.
In his stead, team manager Datuk Jamal Mohd Aris attended the conference and he fielded questions from the press. Jamal enjoyed the 3-0 win for Perak over Persatuan Bola Sepak Melayu Selangor (PBMS) and pointed out that the margin of victory against such lowly opponents was not the target of the team.
"It's a knockout round and we're happy to have achieved a win. We have a lot of players and it was important to have been able to field them today. Even though we only scored three, what was important is that we advance to the next round," said Jamal.
Hafiz Kamal, Khairul Amri and Jasazrin Jamluddin were amongst the new Perak signings that have yet to start a game for the Bos Gaurus until Wednesday night and in particular, Hafiz had a decent game in midfield which could provide the right type of headache for Weigang ahead of the big weekend match against reigning Super League champions, Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT)
"There are some new players who haven't played yet until tonight [Wednesday] and it was vital for them to get some minutes under their belt so that they can build an understanding with the rest. We have many options now and if Hafiz Kamal can produce what he did tonight, he could be one of the options for Saturday's match against JDT," added Jamal.
Both import forwards were the ones that got the goals for Perak in the FA Cup second round win with Albanian Faton Toski notching his first and second goal for this new team. The former Eintracht Frankfurt player is expected to be one of the stars for Perak this season and Jamal admits that he's relieved to see Toski finding the back of the net.
"Yes, the pressure is slightly off with Toski now that he has scored. It's normal that once a player gets off the mark, he'll play better and feel less pressured," explained Jamal.
With the winner of the FA Cup being offered a place in the 2018 AFC Cup, Perak Stadium could find itself hosting continental matches once again and that is a target that Jamal anticipates for Perak. The team manager reiterates that Perak is there to just make up the numbers and wants to go as far as they can in the competition they last won in 2005.
"We want to reach Bukit Jalil. No point for play in the competition if we don't aim to be in the final," said Jamal.