BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Having just rejoined team training earlier this week following his injury recovery, Selangor's star striker Rufino Segovia is understandably not ready to return to action just yet, but he believes that his teammates have what it takes to take the club to prominence again, beginning this weekend.
The past five years or so have been a difficult time for the former Malaysian powerhouse, but this year they have been resurgent and revamping under the leadership of association president, Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin.
This Saturday they will square off in the first leg of their Malaysia Cup semi-final tie against Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), the team that rose to fill the power vacuum left behind by their previous decline.
According to the Spaniard, who has been sidelined for seven months by an Achilles tendon tear, their semi-final clash is a good opportunity for the Red Giants to signal their intention of retaking the top spot in Malaysian football in the next few years.
Rufino Segovia. Photo by Sports Regime
"This (the JDT tie) is a good chance for us to the fans that we are a big team [again]. We are now almost equals; we have good attacking players and great midfielders, while we are getting stronger in defence.
"The game against JDT is 50-50. The team that is smart and consistently focused will get the win. I have confidence in my team, I've watched them play and I hope we win. But we need to be extra-motivated in the game because we know JDT have great players, one mistake can result in a goal. We focus every minute of the game and we have a chance of winning, we don't want to regret losing because we lose focus for a brief moment," said the 2018 Super League top-scorer when met by Goal last week.
After Saturday's match, the return fixture will be played at the Shah Alam Stadium on October 26. The two teams have met twice this season with both matches being won by the Southern Tigers. The last time Selangor won away to JDT was back in 2013.
Rufino has not travelled to Johor with Selangor's matchday squad, and will instead make an appearance in the official match viewing party organised by the club in Shah Alam.
MEET & GREET DI LIVE VIEWING ESOK!🤝— FA Selangor (@FASelangorMy) October 18, 2019
JOHOR DT vs SELANGOR
📍Dataran Kemerdekaan, Shah Alam
🗓 19 Oktober 2019
🕗 8 malam
Esok sebelum perlawanan bermula anda berpeluang untuk beramah mesra bersama dua pemain FA Selangor iaitu Rufino Segovia dan Syukri Azman! #RedGiants pic.twitter.com/ivlKstt1qz
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