Perak are gunning for title, says Brendan

Perak TBG
The 29-year-old central midfielder is pleased to be back in the mix and is raring to push him team on for the ultimate prize.

First against second, top of the table clash between Johor Darul Ta'zim and Perak will be the highlight of the Super League fixtures this week.

Four times champions JDT are six points ahead of Perak going into the encounter but with a double-header against Pahang on the horizon, things could change very quickly in a blink of an eye.

But it will not be an easy proposition for The Bos Gaurus at Tan Sri Dato Hj Hassan Yunos Stadium, an indomitable fortress for JDT, with no defeat suffered there in the league since the club was rebranded back in 2013.

While the focus is to attempt to half the gap between the two team as Perak look to win their first league title since 2003, there's also a desire within the group to distance themselves from the rest.

Pahang, Terengganu FC, Kedah and PKNS FC are the clutch of teams below Perak who are within four points of Mehmet Durakovic's team. 

"It’s a massive game (v JDT) for us. In terms of trying to pull away, not just close the gap. We’ve been second for a couple of weeks but the threats behind are too close for comfort," an optimistic Brendan Gan told Goal.

"Because it’s such a tight race, to consolidate to pull away give you confidence to face other bigger teams.

"If we beat JDT and Pahang maybe able to take some points off JDT, maybe we can take the lead then. 100% we’re going for the title."

The prize dangled in front of all teams this season is the entry to the 2019 AFC Champions League for the winner of the 2018 Malaysia Super League. 

A chance to etch their name in the history books to be the first Malaysian team to be in the group stage of the ACL is the motivation that is not only driving JDT but Perak as well.

Brendan was part of the Sydney FC squad that competed in the 2011 ACL that took him to the best clubs in Japan, South Korea and China. To be able to return to that competition would represent a incredible feat for the midfielder.

"It’s huge. When I played in Australia and in ACL, it is such a prestigious competition. Such a honour and big reward for the hard work put in. All those are behind close doors, not out in the open.

"The pain, sweat and tears that the public don't see. To be able to be part of that is just massive reward."

To get there, there is no doubt that Brendan and Perak have to achieve a first at Larkin. A draw would do the visitors' title aspirations little good, three points the only result that would make this a proper title race once again.

Ignacio Insa is still working his way back to full fitness while the duo of Harry Novillo and Jorge Santos Silva have become unwanted men at JDT, there will still be formidable challenges that awaits Perak.

A JDT midfield that is anchored by Hariss Harun could be complimented by the presence of Nazmi Faiz and Gary Steven Robbat alongside him. Safiq Rahim may be the player preferred by the fans but Raul Longhi has already showed who he favours more.

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"It’s another game. I don’t worry about the players we’re playing. Everyone eventually have to play each other. I only worry about my own game and helping Perak. That’s what has brought us success, we play for each other and back each other.

"I started last two games. It takes time to come back to get fitness and sharpness. I’m feeling really good.  Slowly getting it back. If everyone does their job invidividually, you don’t have to be outstanding. Everything will fall into place. I’m not worry about being the best. Getting my game is more important," added Brendan.