THE Johor FC is counting on new chief coach Sazali Saidon for a turnaround after K. Devan quit the team in a huff in April as they bid to move out of the Super League relegation playoff zone.
Sazali is no newcomer to the team, having been assistant to Ramlan Rashid in 2008 when Johor FC achieved their best-ever finish in the Super League of third placing and making the Malaysia Cup semi-finals.
The new coach believes there is still hope of moving up the standings whey they host PKNS in Pasir Gudang tomorrow, looking to stem a run of nine matches without victory in all competitions.
"What we need now is to collect full points against PKNS at home. It will give the team a boost in terms of confidence. We need the confidence," said Sazali, who was also assistant to Azuan Zain in 2010 when Johor FC again reached the Malaysia Cup semi-finals.
Sazali has the experience of leading Johor FC when he was caretaker coach for five matches in the Malaysia Cup last year.
"There is no lack of commitment in the team. Luck seems to have deserted us but this is a new beginning. Hopefully, in my first match as the chief coach something positive will come through."
Sazali is banking on senior players like skipper Khairul Ismail, Kaironissam Sahabudin Hussein and Ahmad Fauzi Saari and the two Brazilians, striker Arthuro Barnhardt and defender Fernando de Abreu to lead Johor FC's revival.
Johor FC are also hoping their fans will be on their best behaviour after the club were fined RM20,000 following an incident in an April 7 match against LionsXII. By J.J. Shah