Mulvey hopes to make Terengganu gig permanent

Asked to step in as Terengganu's head coach after Ahmad Yusof was ‘rested’, Mike Mulvey has no intention of suffering a similar predicament. 

Stability has been in short supply of late at Terengganu. In June 2015, Abdul Rahman was relieved of his coaching duties after a run of six defeats.

In came Ahmad Yusof, who then took the Turtles to eight wins in the last nine league games to finish fourth.  

Such form brought optimism that, with a full pre-season and a couple of new signings, perhaps 2016 would bring a first Malaysia Super League title to the east coast.

Perhaps it still could, but not for Ahmad. The coach was 'rested' (Malaysian football speak for 'fired') in February after two league games that brought one win and one loss as well as a damaging early exit from the FA Cup.

I'll be looking for the club to gain stability with a plan within 18 months.

- Terengganu caretaker coach Mike Mulvey

His replacement, Mike Mulvey had arrived in December to be assistant coach.

It was an interesting appointment though, not many Malaysians — or Asian — teams have number twos that have won a title like the A-League. Mulvey did though, after leading Brisbane Roar to the 2014 Australian championship.

After some time with Sabah, he has now arrived on the mainland. Mulvey insisted however that he was not brought in to be a ready-made replacement for Ahmad.

But now that the situation has come to this state, Mulvey intends to make the job his in hopes of improving the club’s fortunes.

“I don't settle for mediocrity,” Terengganu's caretaker coach Mulvey told FourFourTwo. “I aim for excellence. I'll be looking for the club to gain stability with a plan within 18 months to get where we want to be.

After two games in charge Mulvey's men have lost to champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and then won 2-1 at Pahang.

But there are some issues that need addressing after a pre-season that could have gone better.

“There were lots of players coming and going. We had one young boy [Muhammad Amirul Syahmi] who scored twice against Pahang but only played 28 minutes in pre-season,” Mulvey shared.

“He was restricted as we were trying out a lot of foreign players. There was concern over injuries and fitness levels at the club. Nine out of 25 players were on the injured list this week, that is over 33%.

“We have to address that. How did it happen and how can we fix the problem? In today's day and age, we shouldn't be getting soft tissue injuries.”

“We played JDT last week... and they were better on the night. We can challenge long-term but first, you have to have ambition and have to have vision. What should we look like? What can we bring to the table?”