JDT’s Mora: We have a lot to do... not just the imports

New Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) coach Benjamin Mora insisted that there is a lot of work up ahead for everyone at the club after failing to defend the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup on Friday.  

The Southern Tigers were a shadow of themselves in the 2017 Malaysia Super League (MSL) opener against Kedah at Larkin Stadium on Friday.

The departure of Jorge Pereyra Diaz and Juan Martin Lucero left a void in the JDT line-up and the three new imports – Gonzalo Cabrera, Brian Ferreira and Jeronimo Barrales – did not live up to expectations.

“We cannot compare with Diaz and Lucero because they have different names and characteristics. I see the new players as Barrales, Cabrera and Ferreira,” said Mora.

“They have a lot to improve from today (Friday), but of course it is not just them... myself and the rest of the team need to as well. I can’t tell you by how much because there is always room for improvement no matter how good a player is.

“We may have lost the match but we won in terms of getting a good picture on what to do and where to modify to add value.”

JDT took the lead against Kedah through Safiq Rahim’s contentious penalty in the first hald but S. Kunanlan’s sending off before half-time saw the tie swing in the visitors’ favour.

Kedah stand-in skipper Baddrol Bakhtiar caught Farizal Marlias off guard for a second-half equaliser. The match ended 1-1 meaning both teams shared the spoils for the MSL game, but Kedah went on to lift the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup after a 5-4 win in the shootout.

“We had some opportunities in the first half but were unlucky not to able to convert. There were organised pressing, use of the flanks and we were solid in defending,” said Mora.

“The penalties can always go either way. I’m here to make some changes and I assure you JDT will continue their winning culture.”