Fabio counting on his options in tough clash against PKNP

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Zulhilmi Zainal
Kuala Lumpur head coach Fabio Magrao has no doubt that star striker Guilherme de Paula will start scoring again soon.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Ahead of Kuala Lumpur's round four Malaysia Super League away clash against PKNP FC this Sunday, head coach Fabio Magrao has told Goal that he will be banking on the tactical options available to him.

The City Boys are in 10th while PKNP are 11th currently, and the two clubs, both promotional sides, are on three points.

Speaking to us after conducting training on Wednesday in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, the Brazilian said that his men have shown flexibility in their shock 1-0 win over defending champions Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) in their previous match.

"Against JDT, I prepared the team to use more counter-attacking movements, which led to the goal that started from a build-up play from the back.

"My players give me options in terms of player selection and also our adaptation to the game, and this is very important for me," said the 40-year old coach.

Asked about their Sunday opponents, Fabio responded that PKNP are a very dangerous side, and he declined to say outright that his team will be travelling to the Batu Kawan Stadium with the three points in mind.

"PKNP are a very strong team, which I've been saying since last year," said Fabio. "They are disciplined, they run well, and they put up a strong fight against JDT. Although they lost 3-0 in the match, they were almost perfect in the first half. It will be a tough, slow game as it will be played in late afternoon.

"I can't say we'll go there to win. Everyone plays to win for sure, but it depends on the condition of the game. What's important is we pick up points in this month. We are on three points, but JDT in second place are only six points. If JDT lose and we win we'll overtake them. It's too close to call at the moment.

"The difference between the top sides and the bottom ones are only two matches; if the top teams lose two games while the bottom sides win two matches, they will leapfrog the others. We have to prepare well, and learn from the mistakes we made in the first two matches."

He also expressed the need to give forward Guilherme de Paula more time to start scoring in the league, when asked. Kuala Lumpur have only scored one goal this season while in comparison, last season Guilherme scored 27 goals en route to helping the City Boys capture the 2017 Premier League title and promotion, to emerge as the league top scorer.

"Every striker needs to score in order to be satisfied with themselves, but he pushes himself every day, gives his best. He had a number of chances to score in the past three games, but he helped the team create a lot of chances and defend.

"The important thing is we play as a team. His goals will come, and for sure the fans can expect him to score a lot of goals in the league again," says Fabio.

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