AFTER registering their first back to back wins in the league this season by beating Kedah 2-1 at home and Felda United 1-0 away, Johor FC have set their sights on a hat-trick when they play basement side Kuala Lumpur at the Pasir Gudang Stadium today.
Full points off Kedah and Felda have somewhat eased Johor FC's relegation woes but they cannot afford to slip against KL, who are doomed for Premier League action next season.
After KL, Johor FC face a tough away match against Sarawak on Saturday -- as the Johor club target an eighth place finish in the 14-team league. The top 10 teams in the Super League and the top four in the Premier League will be in the Malaysia Cup.
Johor FC have been bogged by injuries and suspensions which led to their disastrous campaign in the league so far. More than half of the first team have been kayoed by long term injuries.
Head coach Sazali Saidon, who took over from K. Devan in mid-season after the former Negri Sembilan and Selangor coach quit in a huff, deserves a pat on the back for Johor FC's late charge despite the odds.
"We are lame ducks in the park. However, I am proud of my players who have shown tremendous fighting spirit on the field," said Sazali, a former international.
"Some have taken the field despite carrying injuries. They have not held back and it drives the simple message of teamwork."
Johor FC's Brazilian ace Arthur Henrique (Arthuro) is still serving a two-match suspension for six yellow card offences. He was sorely missed against Felda but Izuan Jarudin secured full points for Johor FC off a free-kick in the 54th minute.
"We have no choice but to beat KL before facing Sarawak away. Any points dropped will be disastrous for us," added Wan Nizam.