BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Following two recent back-to-back defeats, Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) president Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim and former JDT striker Luciano Figueroa have come out in defence of the club's under fire head coach Benjamin Mora.
In two separate posts on the club's social media, the two of them defended the Mexican, saying that he currently does not have the players that the club used to, and must be given time to work with their new players.
"JDT should give time to Benjamin Mora and understand that every change in football takes time. Benjamin Mora took over JDT with completely different foreign players, different players. You don't have good players like Hariss, you don't have good players like Martin Lucero, Pereyra Diaz and Luciano Figueroa. I have been with the good players in this club. And it was different.
"Now not only that they don't have all these good players but at the same time you have to understand that they also have new local players, so it takes time and I am confident because I am in JDT and I know the system in JDT. JDT will be a stronger team next year and all the years to come. For now, this year is an adjustment period and everybody should support Benjamin Mora because he is a good coach."
Figueroa's thoughts in a separate post echoed her sentiment, while questioning the commitment of several of the Southern Tigers' squad members.
"He does have a handful of players who have won seven trophies in 3 years. Some players are still hungry and some are not as hungry anymore. These are one of the many challenges the coach is facing and sadly, people don't understand that. JDT's problem is not the coach, but the mentality of the few players who have tasted success and are fortunate enough to have amassed a fair bit of savings.
"JDT needs players who are 100% committed to the club and are constantly hungry for success. To identify the right players and make all these changes, takes a bit of time. Running a club is tough and I'm confident that the boss, HRH TMJ knows what he's doing. What he is sacrificing today and now is only for a stronger and more dominant JDT next year, and all the years to come."
Following the resumption of domestic football last weekend, JDT lost 3-1 to rivals Pahang in the first leg of their FA Cup quarter-final tie, before they were beaten 3-2 by Global FC in their AFC Cup group match last Wednesday. The consecutive defeats are their first, not including defeats in penalty shootouts, in all competitions since February 2015, causing outrage among the JDT fans.