T-TEAM are still trying to get their act together ahead of the Malaysia Cup campaign which starts on Aug 22 with an away game to Pahang in Group D.
Coach Yunus Alif said losing 2-0 to Armed Forces in a friendly match in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday was not a good sign as his players were having trouble playing as a team.
"Things did get a little better a day later but we still lost 2-1 to Felda United FC and that was because our three on-loan signings did not look comfortable playing alongside their new teammates.
"But we played a lot better in our second friendly match against Felda United and hopefully we will get some positive results when we take on Sime Darby tomorrow (today)," said Yunus.
The 54-year-old coach said it wil take some time for defender Sumardi Hajalan from Sabah, midfielder Shahrul Azhar Ture, also from Sabah, and striker Mohd Fauzi Abdul Majid from Police, to combine well with the other T-Team players.
"I have a feeling Sumardi will see a lot of Malaysia Cup action as our regular right back Shahril (Faizal) has yet to recover from his hamstring injury and may not be able to play in the preliminary round.
"Another player on our injury list is Hasan (Basri) but the good news is our playmakers Zairo (Anuar Zailani) and Rosdi (Talib) are now fully recovered from their injuries and should be able to play from the start of the Malaysia Cup," he said.
Yunus said T-Team can hardly afford to lose key players during the competition as they have set a target of progressing beyond the semi-final stage.
"We were one of the semi-finalists last season and this time, we have no choice but to do better than last year as we are now under pressure from our financial backer to do well in this cup competition.
"We faltered in the Malaysia Cup, losing in the quarter-finals. We were also mediocre at best in the Super League, finishing ninth and we now have to make amends in the coming Malaysia Cup."
He said T-Team, who were drawn in Group D with Selangor, Sarawak and Pahang, have a good chance of making the quarter-finals.
"Selangor may just be the strongest team in the group but we have beaten them a few times in the past few years.
"Sarawak and Pahang may also fancy their chances but I am not too worried, knowing my boys and their desire to challenge for honours in this competition." By Zainuddin Muhammad