Selangor head coach, P. Maniam is ready to take the risk of playing the first few matches of the new season with only two import players in the squad.
The Red Giants only have two import players currently, Francis Forkey Doe and Ugo Ukah and according to Maniam, he will start the season with the two import players only, while finalising the signing of one last foreign player this week. Indonesia winger Andik Vermansah meanwhile is still recuperating from his injury.
Maniam insisted that he has faith with the local players in his squad, while adding that two or three more players will turn up for trial with the Red Giants this week.
“For now, we could not find any foreign players that suit us, so for the first game, we will play only Forkey Doe and Ugo Ukah, and the rest are all local players.”
“This week we have two or three more players who will trial for us, and from there we will evaluate them whether they can play with us or not.”
“We are looking to find partner for Forkey, to add more strength in front, so we are looking for No 10.”
Maniam also added that the Red Giants' preparations are going well ahead of the new season, and he is under no pressure, ahead of their league opener against Pulau Pinang this weekend.
“Pressure is normal for a coach. I have to handle that. We are doing okay with the preparations and we have one more week to do so.”
“The players’ fitness are getting better. Against KL, despite the fact that we lost the game, I think we played a very good game, and we can see positive things from the players. They played a good attacking game.”
Selangor are expected to be without their first choice goalkeepers, with Khairul Azhan and Norazan Razli are set to miss the first day of the season through injuries.
However, Maniam believed their third choice custodian, Zarif Irfan Hishamuddin can play well if selected for the game against Pulau Pinang.
“We will look at the condition of Azhan first, and Irfan will be on standby. If Irfan plays, then I think he will be able to handle the pressure and do well.”
“For Azlan, he will need at least three or four more days before he can return to training,” added Maniam.
When asked about their first opponents of the season, Pulau Pinang, Maniam said that they are confident of getting the three points.
“Pulau Pinang are a good team. They have prepared for the new season since two months ago, but for us we are not under pressure.”
“I don’t pressure the players. We are going to make preparations and the players are very determined. They are very confident of getting the three points,” explained the recently-appointed head coach.