Mora: ‘We’re going well but Kedah are the team to beat’

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) coach Benjamin Mora feels his team is on the rise and is upbeat about their chances to improve their Malaysia Super League (MSL) standing, but has identified Kedah as their biggest challengers. 

MSL leaders Kedah were on a stroll on Saturday, looking value for money as they disposed promoted side Malacca 4-0 in Alor Setar to stay unbeaten in 2017.

The Red Eagles, who have not lost a league match since August last year, top the table on 18 points followed by Pahang (16 points), JDT (14) and Perak (14). They even prized away the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup away from JDT in the season curtain raiser in January. The Southern Tigers, however, could move to striking distance if they win their game in hand.

Kedah are the ones to beat for now. I think it will be keen to defeat them at their home ground.

- JDT coach Mora

JDT seem to be getting into full gear, recording their third straight win in Friday’s 3-2 result against rivals Pahang.

With just over a quarter into the season, Mora feels some teams could lose momentum as the matches come thick and fast, but he was certain about the need to defeat Kedah in the reverse fixture after being held 1-1 at Larkin in January.

“It’s a long way to go and some teams will drop off after the half-way mark of the season. Kedah are the ones to beat for now. I think it will be keen to defeat them at their home ground,” said Mora.

“JDT are in a good position as we have a game in hand. We have played 11 games in 43 days and we are going up. The players are putting in the performance desire.”

JDT and Kedah only face each other on the final day of the season in October and Mora’s comments seem to indicate his believe that the two sides could end up fighting tooth and nail for the MSL title.

The Southern Tigers are seeking to break their own record of three consecutive titles with a fourth straight championship in 2017.