Dollah looking to challenge JDT, Nidzam says Kedah not ready

Pahang coach Dollah Salleh will turn his attention towards Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the Malaysia Super League (MSL), saying a six-point gap could be overturned. 

Pahang, like Kedah, are six points behind the MSL leaders. The East Coast giants are in second because of a better goal difference compared to Kedah.

“We are six points behind but with half of the season to go, I believe my team can still catch JDT,” said Dollah.

“Pahang have to go all out in the league and the Malaysia Cup because we have a squad capable of winning trophies.

“We played the FA Cup final with 10 men after Kiko Insa’s red card but I never thought about that for even a second in the second half … it looked like it was 11 against 11. The second half was our real game. If we can maintain that in the remaining home games, we can reduce the deficit.”

Kedah have won the last three trophies – Malaysia Cup, Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup and FA Cup – on offer in Malaysia and if that was anything to go by, the Red Eagles truly look like challengers to JDT’s dominance in Malaysia.

While the Southern Tigers have somehow eased their foot off the accelerator, Kedah are looking good despite having a change in the dugout.

Nidzam, who will take charge of the Northerners till the end of the season, replaced Tan Cheng Hoe in the dugout following the latter’s decision to return to Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) as Harimau Malaya assistant coach in April.

Having served as Tan’s assistant for two years, Nidzam repeatedly said he was merely continuing the good work left behind by Tan, but he insisted Kedah were not quite there in terms of challenging JDT for the MSL title.

“I have great players and a good style of play left behind by Tan, but the MSL is still very tough. This trophy (FA Cup) surely gives confidence though,” said Nidzam.

“But I don’t think we are there yet in terms of matching JDT. Our performance has been like a yo-yo and to challenge for the league title, we need to be consistent and tie-up things.

“This team can get there eventually though. I never expected to win the FA Cup to be honest but we did … my third winners’ medal after winning two as a player.”