2014 Malaysia Cup team preview: T-Team
Home Ground: Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium, Kuala Terengganu
Nickname: The Titans
Super League: 11th
FA Cup: Second Round
Last Season's Malaysia Cup: Group stages
What happened in the league?
After escaping relegation by the skin of their teeth last year, they were unable to repeat the feat this time round. Despite a stunning upset of eventual league winners JDT in Round 2, they never truly got their season going. Their next victory came four weeks later, with the subsequent one coming in Round 9. A failure to collect enough points meant that it eventually came down to the final day where they needed at least a point at home against the LionsXII. However, a 1-0 defeat condemned them to the inevitable as they were edged out by ATM on goal difference. That said, they did achieve their objective of qualifying for the Malaysia Cup after overcoming Negeri Sembilan in the playoffs.
Despite their lowly position, they are capable of springing a couple of surprises here and there.
They did fare well against some of the top sides – taking down JDT and Kelantan at home, as well as taking points off Selangor and LionsXII, but their downfall proved to be their inability to beat fellow strugglers ATM, PKNS and Perak in crucial six-pointers.
Peculiarly, for a team that just suffered relegation, they actually had one of the best defensive records in the league and conceded more than two goals only on two occasions in the league all year. Mid-season recruit Goran Subara has settled into the team like a fish in water, as he helped to shore up an already competent backline with the experienced Hasbullah Awang and Marzuki Yusof.
While they have one of the best defences in the league, they struggled to put in goals at the other end. 21 goals in 22 league games are not just good enough. Indonesian attacker Patrich Wanggai is the team’s top scorer with five goals, while chief striker Jimmy Mulisa only fired in a paltry two.
The player to watch
Their key to breaching the opponents’ net is Wanggai. Apart from the obvious goal threat that he is, the 26-year-old’s pace and physical strength always give opposing defenders a couple of headaches.
Anuar Abu Bakar is the new man at the helm after taking over the reins from Azraai Khor just before the competition begins. The 43-year-old has spent the last four years at PKNS as assistant coach and briefly took over as the head coach for the last few league games of 2014. The jury is still very much out on this young and unproven coach.
Group stage fixtures
Aug 13 – Selangor (H)
Aug 20 – Sime Darby (H)
Aug 23 – PDRM (A)
Aug 27 – PDRM (H)
Aug 30 – Sime Darby (A)
Sep 3 – Selangor (A)