Still smarting from last Saturday’s 1-2 home loss to S Pahang, our fourth defeat after 7 matches in the Super League this season, City Boys’ head coach Bojan has less than 72 hours to prepare his side for the visit of his former team Penang FC, on Tuesday in Cheras, the last fixture at home before the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup group stages in late June.
The Voice of The City Boys seeked his views ahead of another battle against a basement side, having faltered vs the Elephants, who came into play occupying third from bottom last week.
“Penang is at the bottom but (when) they change(d) the coach, it comes with new energy and they will try to get results. They have a good squad and they are a hardworking team so it will be tough”, said Bojan.
The Croatian was hoping that we get the rub of the green for this match, stating his regret that we failed to deliver any points in the past two outings despite our largely positive displays.
“We are playing (at) home this time. Even though the results (of the) last two games (vs Negeri Sembilan and S Pahang) are unfortunate, our gameplay was pretty good. Hopefully, we have a little bit of luck in the next game (vs Penang) and we score our half chances”.
The disappointment in the 50 year old who guided the Red and White to our first major silverware in 21 years since the Charity Cup in 2000, with success in the Malaysia Cup last November, on the City Boys’ match outcomes was all too evident.
“We were unlucky (in the) last match (vs S Pahang). The freekick (Nor Azam Azih) was unbelievable and the penalty (by Manuel Hidalgo) was a bit lucky, the ball hit the body (of Declan) and then the hands. As I said previously, we played (pretty good) but the results are not reflecting our gameplay.”
Recently, a familiar and key figure to the Kuala Lumpur City dressing room returned to the fore, and that has given a massive boost to the squad, a fact that Bojan happily acknowledges.
“Nenad (Bacina) has been working together with me on and off for the last 6-7 years. We are similar in 99% on how we view the game and training. I can focus on other aspects of the game and he can focus on the others. Two people are better than one.”, as he revealed the return of his long time partner in ‘crime’, a development that should be relished by the Sampai Mati Kuala Lumpur faithful.
On our inconsistency this season, Bojan had this to say, but was optimistic once a few of his key players get a measure of themselves and their role within the team, it will be just like last year.
“Look, we have some changes in the defence. Declan and Nabil joined us. It’s compared to last year when Daniel Ting played. This is one of the things we did not prepare for at the beginning (of the season). We were unlucky with some goals and some situations, penalties and other situations during the game. The main thing, we need to focus on (is) we need to keep creating chances. We created more chances compared to last year but (our) finishing is (still) not there. Kevin (Koubemba) is completely new and he needs time to adjust to Malaysian football. He’s playing in his usual wing position but he still needs time, while Romel is yet to be at the level when he played during Malaysia Cup last year. When he becomes fully fit, I think the situation (for us) will change.”