BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Felda United, currently in last place in the Super League standings, are positive despite their current situation according to head coach Nidzam Jamil.
Despite their predicament in the league, last weekend they were gallantly knocked out of the FA Cup at the semi-final stage by Kedah. Trailing at home 3-0 on aggregate, they pressed Kedah in the final thirty minutes of the second leg to level the tie 3-3. However, their opposition still advanced to the final due to their away-goal advantage.
They now return their attention onto their remaining five league matches and their push for top-tier safety, starting with their home encounter against Selangor this Sunday.
"We take our achievements in the cup positively, but now we're shifting our attention back onto the league campaign. We want to remain in the top tier.
"We will play at home [against Selangor], but they are in a good run due to Ifedayo's (striker and former Felda man Ifedayo Olusegun) form and the forms of their key players. It will be a tough night for us but I'm happy with the preparations of the team and the coaching staff, and I hope we will be able to translate it into playing well in the Selangor match," said the 39-year old coach.
Despite his respect for the side he used to play for, which is currently led by his former boss B. Satiananthan, there is no denying that Nidzam proved his capability by producing positive results in both games the two teams have faced off in this season.
The Fighters held the Red Giants to a 1-1 draw on the first league matchday, before recording a surprise 2-1 win in their third round FA Cup encounter.
He however denied that the results happened because of his awareness of the experienced coach's tactical preferences, preferring to chalk the results down to his charges' strong desire to win instead.
"When a small club such as ours meet a bigger side, the players will be more motivated to play well. I believe the players who will be fielded against Selangor will give their 100 per cent, and the deciding factor is not what I already know of Satiananthan's tactics.
"He's experienced and will change a few things around anyway, so he still has the advantage in the game," said the former Selangor player.
Speaking on their target for the remaining five matches in order to lift themselves out of the relegation zone, Nidzam remarked that they need at least seven points, especially from their matches against fellow relegation-battlers Kuala Lumpur (10th) and PKNP FC (11th). Both are on 14 points and have four league matches remaining.
"Mathematically, I believe we need at least seven points from our five last matches, including our matches against Kuala Lumpur and PKNP. It isn't easy.
"It's one thing to calculate points on paper, but on the pitch it's a different thing altogether. I want every player to work hard to at least finish the league campaign in 10th place, because we have a squad that is good enough to play in the Malaysia Cup [by finishing the Super League in the top-ten]," declared Nidzam, while adding that Singapore international Khairul Amri Kamal and young midfielder Danial Amier Norhisham have recovered from their injuries and are ready for the Selangor clash.
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Rahsia jurulatih Selangor B. Satiananthan dalam poket bekas anak buahnya yang kini memimpin @feldaunitedfc, Nidzam Jamil? Relegation-battlers FELDA UNITED FC have won once and drawn once this season against the more-fancied Selangor, whom they will face again on Sunday. Is the Fighters' head coach Nidzam Jamil already aware of Red Giants boss and former mentor B. Satiananthan's tactics?