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Selangor v Johor Darul Ta'zim

Satiananthan counting on Sandro to rediscover form against JDT

06:14 EAT 26/10/2019
Sandro da Silva, Selangor, Malaysia Super League, 15062019
Sandro da Silva's start against JDT last week was his first appearance for Selangor in two months following a lengthy injury.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Although key midfielder Endrick dos Santos will not feature for Selangor again this season due to a persistent, undetectable injury, the Red Giants boss Satiananthan Bhaskran believes that his absence can be filled by his Brazilian compatriot Sandro da Silva.

His start in their first leg Malaysia Cup semi-final match against JDT last weekend was his first competitive action in two months, after picking up a lengthy injury in a friendly match in late August. At Larkin he was lacking his usual sharpness, and lasted until the 75th minute, in the match that ended in a 2-1 win to the hosts.

But Satiananthan is confident that the veteran attacker will be able to rediscover his form in the return fixture this Saturday.

"Endrick is an important player to the team and his absence will definitely be felt. But I have other players such as Halim [Saari] and Sarkunan [Krishnansamy], as well as Sandro who can be relied on in midfield.

Sarkunan Krishnansamy. Photo from Malaysian Football League

"After having been sidelined for two months, he was pushing himself in the first leg. Although it wasn't quite what we've seen him capable of doing in the league campaign, I can see that he's more prepared in training," said the experienced trainer in an interview with competitions organiser Malaysian Football League.

The Brazilian meanwhile was grateful that his first match back in action was against the best side in the country.

"Playing in a tough match after my lengthy lay-off, I was glad that I was able to help the team," explained the veteran attacker.

"I'm positive of my fitness ahead of the second leg, and I believe we can do it at home to reach the final."

The match has an extra significance as well for Satiananthan and a number of his charges, as the Hindu celebration of Deepavali for this year falls on this Saturday. The Red Giants have a number of Hindu players on their roster; Sarkunan, Namathevan Arunasalam, Prabakaran Kanadasan and Kannan Kalaiselvan.

"We the team, the players want to succeed for the sake of the Selangor fans, especially the Hindu ones.

"I want to make Deepavali an even more joyous and memorable occassion for them, so I want us to reach the final," said the former Malaysia boss. 

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