Felda not ready to throw in towel in fight for top-tier survival

Sports Regime
After losing to Pahang, Felda United are now facing a very real threat of relegation from the Malaysia Super League.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

In the end Pahang proved too strong for relegation-threatened Felda United, in their Super League match on Wednesday.

Although S. Chanturu's 27th minute goal cancelled out Lazarus Kaimbi's 14th minute opener at the Darul Makmur Stadium, the hosts bagged the three points through goals by Herold Goulon (72') and Dickson Nwakaeme (88'), to confirm their second-place finish in Malaysia's top tier this season. 

The result placed the Fighters in 11th spot, in the relegation zone, although they are only separated from safety, and PKNP FC in 10th place, by goal difference.

Survival now seems slim to them, due to the fact that they will be playing away to FA Cup finalists Kedah, who are also gunning for a third-place finish, on the final league matchday this weekend, while PKNP will take on a Petaling Jaya City (PJ) side who have already secured their top-tier status next season.

Commenting on the match, Felda boss Nidzam Jamil spoke of how the Elephants were simply the better side in the encounter.

"We were able to match Pahang tactically for 70 minutes, but it's Pahang. They brought on Nwakaeme, Matyo (Norshahrul Idlan Talaha) and Mickey (Faisal Halim) and it turned south for us. They're the best Malaysian team after JDT and they've planned very, very well

"We've given 100 per cent, but after conceding a second time, we had the option of defending, however, it wasn't a good option. We needed to come away with at least one point to help our chances of staying in the top tier," he remarked.

Nidzam now shifts his attention towards grabbing what little chance his side still has to obtain safety.

"Our safety now depends on our result against Kedah, a game we need to win while hoping that the result of PJ vs PKNP will be in our favour. We can't control PKNP, so we need to beat Kedah. It's our last chance and we need to grab hold of it.

"Even if what remains is 10 per cent of a chance, we'll go for that 10 per cent. We're not throwing in the towel yet, saying that we're finished. No," noted the 39-year old trainer.

But when asked about the possibility of Kedah head coach Aidil Sharin Sahak resting their best line-up in order to prepare for the cup final in the following weekend, Nidzam responded in the negative.

"If I were Aidil, I will either prepare for the FA Cup [final] or get Kedah to end the league campaign in the top three. I believe he wants to go for the top three. 

"I can't be sure of his plans, but a top-three finish is good for a coach's first season in Malaysia. Regardless, even if he fields their second team, it's still Kedah, unlike our second team (laughs). I'm sorry!" noted the former Selangor player frankly. 

Follow Goal Malaysia's Instagram account to see photos and watch videos from Malaysian football!