TMJ says Morais will return, hints Novillo and Silva could be dropped from JDT

Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) are pining on the return of their former head coach Ulisses Morais after the Southern Tigers boss Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ) called on the Portuguese’s second homecoming.

“I have never panicked about Raul Longhi being the coach because his role has always been as a caretaker only. The reason why I have not looked for or appointed any other coach is because I know Ulisses Morais will return,” said TMJ on the club’s official Facebook page.

“He had to step away from JDT to settle his family issues in Portugal. Whilst waiting for Morais to return, Raul’s role in JDT is as caretaker. That’s the reason why I have not signed any new coach.”

Morais had left the defending league champions in February due to health reasons in his family.

In his eight months in charge since taking over last June, the former forward steered JDT to their fourth league title before he delivered the elusive Malaysia Cup trophy.

This year, Morais won JDT the Charity Shield in one of his last acts as head coach before departing home.

TMJ also hinted that the club could drop their new foreign strikers Harry Novillo and Jorge Santos Silva, who have yet to showcase their full potential after three matches.

“We have picked two foreign players who I believe are not better than the local players. I have said previously that we want to spend extravagantly and squander. Now it really seems that we have to spend exorbitantly and are squandering after all.”

“Even after signing players for millions, if I see that those players aren’t performing after a few games, they can leave and I will look for their replacements for JDT. That’s never happened in Malaysian football, but this is JDT.”

Novillo had done well by scoring on his debut against Selangor (on May 12), but failed to replicate that form against Negeri Sembilan FA and PKNS FC.

Silva, meanwhile, has yet to get off the mark despite working hard in front of goal.

Longhi had previously said both players needed more time to adjust to JDT’s style of play after coming on board only earlier this month.

Both men will have a chance to impress when JDT welcome second place Perak FA to Larkin Stadium on Saturday.