FOOTBALL: Alberts counting on M-Cup to boost morale
SARAWAK coach Robert Alberts believes his side will raise their game in the Malaysia Cup, which starts on Wednesday, to make amends for their recent relegation from the Super League.
Alberts' side had a disappointing outing in the league, winning just eight of their 26 matches, which saw them finishing 11th and consigned to the relegation play-offs.
Sarawak were relegated following their 1-0 loss to Premier League runners-up Pahang in a play-off match last month.
Alberts is hoping the prospect of doing well in the Malaysia Cup will be enough to motivate his team.
"I need to get my boys' excited and motivated for this campaign. I want them to take this chance to redeem themselves," said Alberts.
"How we do in this tournament will determine our fortunes in the future. The key is to survive the fall and get back up again next season."
Sarawak are not among the favourites to make the quarter-finals from Group D, also comprising 32-time champions Selangor, T-Team and Pahang but Alberts is optimistic his team can pull off an upset.
"Our record against Selangor and T-Team is not bad as we only lost to them by a single goal in the league, so it's just a matter of reversing the results in the Malaysia Cup."
Alberts also confirmed Sarawak have sealed loan deals for Sabah trio Bobby Gonzales, Ronny Harun and Sharudin Yakup for the tournament.
"The trio have responded well in training and I believe, they will make a difference," added Alberts.
Sarawak will open their campaign against Selangor in Kuching on Wednesday. By Ajitpal Singh