FFT's Telling it like it is: Bojan Hodak, Penang CEO

In a fascinating edition to our ongoing series, Penang chief executive Bojan Hodak gives a rare insight into preparations ahead of a do-or-die Malaysia Super League relegation battle against Terengganu this Saturday night...

We've had to wait four weeks for this final game of the 2016 Malaysia Super League season. This is normal in Malaysia.

Everything now is about the last game against Terengganu. The whole target is to stay in the MSL

The players have had a short break, as they had gone a long time without a rest. We have had one friendly and we will be ready for this game against Terengganu that will determine our standing for next season.

It has been an interesting few months since I arrived. When I first came in as chief executive, and the new coach Nenad Bacina came on board, the club had just six points. Now we have 19 points and a new style.

We changed some of the players. The Korean signing Jeong Seok-min has been excellent and has done much better than we expected.

Many players were offered to us, so we watched a lot of video and analysed lots of stats, and decided Jeong was just the type of player we needed.

He is so versatile he can play centre-back, he can play as a second striker if needed, and from central midfield he has scored five goals and hit the post three times.

Penang in their recent friendly against Kedah. Photo: Penang FA

We also decided to sign Ranti Martins, who was the top scorer in India last season. We probably expected a little more than what we’ve got from him, but part of the reason he hasn't settled all that well is due to the style we've been playing.

He is used to getting more service than he has been getting with us. He is a real finisher and he has still scored four goals and done his part for the team.

It was disappointing to lose 1-0 at Pahang in our last league game back on September 24, but it was just one of those days. It could have gone either way, it was a real 50-50 contest.

We had a few more shots on target than them, but they scored one goal and that is what counts. Everyone is looking for chances and it is about how many goals you score and nothing more.

But our problem is not so much scoring – we are the fourth highest goalscorers in the league – our problem is defending. We concede too many sloppy goals.

Bacina came in and has improved this a little, but it remains a problem. We can't change the players in the middle of the season and most of these players were signed by the previous manager. So we've been doing what we can.

We have a new coach who is implementing a different game plan. In training, he has been trying to get the midfield to hold the ball a little more and a little longer. We are also trying to be quicker on the counter-attack.

That worked quite well for the first few games and we saw that in the results.

Everything now is the about the last game, against Terengganu on Saturday.

Continued over the page with Bojan's thoughts on his squad, the Turtles and his future