KUALA LUMPUR: Felda United coach B. Sathianathan expects a ‘Super League level’ show from his players despite their ‘demotion’ to the Premier League next season.
Sathia stressed that there is no room for complacency even though Felda will play in a second-tier competition.
“The players have to remember that even though Felda are playing in the Premier League, they have the quality of a Super League team.
“Felda United were demoted based on technicalities and not on poor results.
“So, the players have to maintain the Super League spirit in them and play like they are in the main league even though the truth is they are in the Premier League,” said Sathianathan today.
The 59-year-old coach said the Felda players have accepted their fate but he is worried they will underestimate the Premier League competitors.
“I’m worried they will take it easy because they will assume the other teams are not on par with Felda United. If the players think like that, they will suffer the consequences.”
“It will also affect our mission which is to get back to the Super League in 2019. I envision Felda to play in the Premier League for only one season.
“Felda United’s aim next season is to win the Premier League and we want to win at least one trophy, either the FA Cup or the Malaysia Cup.”
Sathia’s concerns are valid as previously Felda lost 3-1 to PKNP FC in the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals first leg this season before coming back with a 4-1 win.
“That game should be a lesson learnt for all players to not underestimate the Premier League teams’ abilities. Don’t think that the teams aren’t capable of playing football.”
Sathia admitted that his men were upset by the demotion but preparations are ongoing with the presence of new faces including Thiago Junior Aquino (Perak), Gilberto Valdenesio Fortuno (PKNP), Syamim Yahya and Christie Jeyaseelan (Pahang).
Translated from Berita Harian