Boateng: I'm not fazed by Diaz

Kelantan head coach George Boateng insisted he has not lost any sleep over JDT winger Jorge Pereyra Diaz's impressive form.

The Argentine winger, who replaced fellow countryman Pablo Aimar during the April transfer window, had a great start at the Larkin Stadium, notching eight goals and three assists in eight league games.

"Diaz is a great player," said the former Dutch international at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium on Monday. "Not to take anything from him, but we are playing JDT and not just Diaz.

“If we focus too much on him, other players like [Luciano] Figueroa will step up.

“JDT have quality in their squad and I know people are writing Kelantan's chances off, but if we defend well and stick to the plan, I believe the team will flourish.”

On the prospect of his team making into their fifth Malaysia Cup final in six years, Boateng remained optimistic.

“We know the job at hand but we are not pressured by it; in fact, I am actually very relaxed about it because I have faith in my players and I know they perform great in top games.

“Our preparations for the tournament have been good as well as we have been working really hard and training more than regularly.

“Despite not being able to play as many friendly matches as I would like, due to the recent international break and the film shooting for The Red Warriors the Movie, I have no real complaints."

Boateng also hinted who might start against the Southern Tigers in the Group C opener on August 13 as he expressed delight in having a fit squad to choose from.

“Brendan [Gan] should be fit to play; Izuan [Khairul Izuan Rosli], Fitree [Zairul Fitree Ishak] and Francis Forkey Doe are doing well after being out for a few days.

“As we get closer to the Malaysia Cup, everybody seems to be getting fit that it is beautiful.

“For instance, in today's training I had over 24 players available for once, which tells me that our preparations have been correct.

According to the Kelantan boss, the only player who will not be playing any part in the Malaysia Cup group stage is Wan Zack Haikal, who is still nursing his anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained last year.

“Wan Zack is making a good progress, but I think the group stage might be too early for him,” he said.

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