Griffiths ready for Aussie showdown in Malaysian Cup

Ryan Griffiths is hoping his side Sawarak can catch rivals Selangor unaware and spring an upset in the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals.

Griffith’s club take on Malaysian outfit Selangor, who are coached by Australian Mehmet Durakovic and feature Robbie Cornthwaite in defence, over two legs in the Cup competition.

Selangor has not played for some time and the former Socceroo believes they may be a touch rusty.

“We’re looking OK but our previous game we drew with the AFC (Cup) champions Johor,” Griffiths told FourFourTwo.

“So that was a good result that got us through our group stage. We’re backing up Tuesday, we played on Saturday, so the players are probably a little bit tired but Selangor haven’t played for a month, or maybe three weeks, so they might be a bit rusty.

“I’m feeling good, feeling confident and even though this will be a very tough game against Selangor and coming up against good defenders like Robbie Cornthwaite, I think that our team might have a bit of a roll happening.

“We won then we drew and drew against two really strong teams. I’m quietly confident about the game and the away leg that we can get through.”

Griffiths joined Sarawak in March 2014 after leaving Adelaide United. Normally a forward, the 34-year old has been playing in central midfield for the Crocs.

“The coach likes me to play in midfield to add a bit more stability and experience in the midfield,” he said.

“I’ve been scoring a few goals as of late out of midfield, which is good. I joke around that I’m going to play central defender next and put the gloves on as this year I’ve played central striker, left and right striker, left winger, right winger, left midfield, right midfield and holding midfield.

“I’ve played a variety of positions year. It’s OK I suppose, I don’t mind doing it for the team, being that kind of utility player. I’ve always enjoyed up the pitch a lot more, it just comes more naturally to me.”

Sarawak finished 10th in the Malaysian Super League, 20 points behind third-placed Selangor. Griffiths has come up against Red Giants boss Durakovic and defender Cornthwaite, both ex-Socceroos, before.

“I know Robbie, I met him the last game that we played,” he said.

“I had dinner with him and he’s a pretty good guy. Mehmet the same kind of thing. I played against Mehmet when he was coaching Melbourne Victory and also here at Selangor.”

Griffiths’ contract with Sarawak ends this month. The former Newcastle and Beijing Guoan attacker said he has had interest from clubs in Malaysia, as well as from China and Thailand, but he is keeping his options open.

“I was looking to come home and play there but I’ve got a couple of nibbles over here in Asia, so I’ll just wait and see to the end of November and hopefully I can pick something up,” Griffiths said.

“But ideally I’d like to come back to Australia and play but we’ll just have two wait and see.”

Griffiths turned 34 in August but has no plans to retire.

“I’m still feeling fit and I don’t think it’s time for me to hang them up yet,” he said.

“I haven’t really thought about that actually. I still feel good, I’m finishing games and scoring goals. They’re the main things, once you start slowing down and doing that then that’s when you have to think about hanging them up.

“Until I feel pain after games or like I can’t do it anymore, that’s when I’ll be done. But not even thinking about that at the moment.”