Irfan rallies tired Felda to keep pace with JDT

Following a surprise loss to Terengganu in the Malaysia Cup during the midweek, Felda aim to keep touch with leaders Johor in the Malaysia Super League on Saturday. 

Felda United supremo Irfan Bakti Abu Salim wants his charges to put behind a surprise loss to struggling Terengganu in the Malaysia Cup ahead of their visit to PDRM in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) on Saturday.

The Fighters, who are two points behind league leaders Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in a two-horse race for the title, have some tired legs in the squad but Irfan told his players to toughen up in what will be their fourth game in a space of 11 days.

The Southern Tigers visit Sarawak in Kuching on Friday but Irfan is already feeling the disadvantage with his smaller squad.

"We have to rally on to stay close to JDT. It's a tough order with the fixtures coming so close. Even in England, they don't play games every three days for periods longer than a week or two," said Irfan.

"How we prepare for games and do recovery is important as I don't have that many players to rotate, unlike JDT who can rotate their players between competitions to keep everyone at an optimum level.

"Against other teams, we don't really have much excuses because everyone is one the same schedule as us. We have to win these games.

"Fortunately, we've not had any casualties so far but I await Hadin Azman's return. He is three weeks away and when he is back, I have more options on the flanks."

Irfan signalled out PDRM's Guilherme de Paula of Brazil and Singapore international Safuwan Baharudin as key players in the Cops’ squad.

"De Paula doesn't score many goals but he is big and very hardworking up front. He will challenge for every ball so we can't take our eyes of him. Safuwan is another one to watch out for," he said.

Friday: Sarawak vs JDT, State Stadium
Saturday: Kedah vs T-Team, Darul Aman Stadium
                 PDRM vs Felda, Hang Jebat Stadium
                 Perak vs Terengganu, Perak Stadium
                 Kelantan vs Pahang, Sultan Mohamad IV Stadium
                 Penang vs Selangor, City Stadium