‘HIDDEN HANDS’ SPELL DANGER TO SELANGOR HOPES

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PETALING JAYA, 31 Aug – Things are certainly not going right for former Malaysian football kingpins Selangor who, for the second successive time, will face “wounded tigers” when they take on Sabah at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu in this Friday’s Super League match.
Sabah suffered a 4-0 beating at the hands of Terengganu in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday on a night when Selangor fought a scoreless draw against Petaling Jaya City FC at their new home venue at the UiTM Stadium.
A week earlier PJ City was handed a 2-0 defeat by Terengganu in a postponed match which was played at the Petaling Jaya Stadium in Kelana Jaya.
For Selangor, it was tough playing “wounded tigers” PJ City after their loss to Terengganu.
And it will be another toughie for the Red Giants when they play “wounded” Sabah.  Selangor head coach B. Sathianathan is headed into another storm knowing that there are a lot of things that are going against him but so far he has managed to put up a brave front to face the odds.
The management of the Selangor team chucked “professionalism” out of the window Selangor FA secretary Dr. Johan Kamal Hamidon revealed that Sathianathan’s job as the head coach will be reviewed when his present contract ends at the end of this year.
One wonders at the timing of the announcement – days before the Red Giants went into the fray against PJ City when the league resumed.
There is no denying that it has been tough going for Sathianathan, a former national coach who is known for his no-nonsense stand. Fans backed by those with a vested interest have used race and religion to have a go at him and his family on social media.
One also wonders if the management of Selangor is run by the fans or professionals? Or there are “hidden hands” in the management who will make big bucks by bringing in a “Mat Salleh” as a coach. There is no guarantee that a “Mat Salleh” can bring the desired results. Even if he fails he will get his big fat pay cheque and say goodbye with no questions asked. This is the norm in Malaysian sports.
Let us not forget that in the past, and even now, there have been cases where the management “milked” the FA dry but in the end, it is the players who suffered due to unpaid salaries.
Sathianathan knows that he will have his hands full for the Sabah tie after the East Malaysians’ big defeat in Kuala Terengganu. The former national coach has watched the video recording of the Terengganu-Sabah match over and over again to prepare his team for the cruncher at Likas.
“The scoreline looks flattering for Terengganu but Sabah gave away soft goals. Just like PJ City our opponents (Sabah) this Friday are wounded. It spells danger and we are in for another tough match,” said Sathianathan.
“I am a team coach and I don’t care about my future. The management can do what they want. I give 100 percent and don’t take a day off. The players know that and they have done the same.”
With the draw against PJ City, the Red Giants are in eighth place on goal difference in the league after five matches. The other teams on six points are sixth-placed Melaka and seventh-placed Pahang.

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