FFT’s MPL wrap: Negeri set pace, match fixing issues arise

It may be the second tier of Malaysia’s football but there was still plenty of excitement and drama, as FourFourTwo found out... 

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Overall Summary

Negeri Sembilan have set the pace with four wins in as many matches in the Malaysian Premier League (MPL) to open a three-point gap over second-place Johor Darul Ta’zim II (JDT II) and third-place Terengganu.

JDT II have played five matches while Terengganu finished four games. Both teams are levelled on nine points, although the former are second on goal difference.

Sabah and Perlis occupy the bottom two spots in the MPL with the former earning only one win while Perlis have recorded two draws and three losses.

Only the top two teams at the end of the season will earn promotion to the Malaysia Super League (MSL) but the excitement will come after 11 rounds as the top five clubs will qualify for the Malaysia Cup.

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Negeri have credited their success to Steinebrunner

Negeri team manager Satwant Singh attributed his team’s impressive start to German technical director Jorg Steinebrunner, who was hired by the club last November.

“Steinebrunner is very professional in his job. He does complete analysis on every opponent and formulates tactics," he said.

Steinebrunner is very professional in his job. He does complete analysis on every opponent and formulates tactics

- Negeri team manager Satwant Singh

“From there, he will come up with solutions and brief the players. They also attend video sessions on a daily basis on tactical play after training.

“We have a winning combination in Steinebrunner and our head coach Asri Ninggal as they work very closely to groom the players.”

Satwant, however, has reminded his players not to get carried away as the league is still in its early stages.

“We started well in the first half of the season in 2016 but faded due to poor decisions on and off the pitch. The Football Association of Negeri Sembilan do not want us to make the same mistake again,” said Satwant.