PETALING JAYA, Nov 15 – For Sabah’s newly minted football coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee it is ”mixed feelings” playing his home state Melaka in the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals but sentiments take a back seat for the former international.
”As a professional, work comes first as it is my rice bowl and I have a family to feed. Of course I have mixed feelings playing my home state (Melaka) for a place in the semi-finals,” said Kim Swee before leaving with the team for this Thursday’s return-leg quarter-final.
”This is the first time I am in such a situation…however, I am not letting sentiments get into my way. Professionalism takes priority.”
The return-leg encounter will be played at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka. In the first-leg  played at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu on Sunday, the Rhinos lost the encounter 1-0 with Haitian striker Sony Norde netting the winner in the 52nd minute.
Kim Sweei still has three days to decide on his team but is in haste to name the line up yet knowing that he needs the best 11 on the field to get an early goal to put the pressure on Zainal Abidin Hassan and his team.
”No doubt, Melaka (United) is a strong team with good foreigner players compared to us. With the right strategies and match plans we have to look at the positives for a win. You must have the players who can score…if you don’t score you can’t win a match,” said Kim Swee.
”There is a certain criteria to be fulfilled before I decide on the team. Some of the youngsters are shaping up well and it is part of team building for the new season.”
For one, Kim Swee and his Rhinos have not given up hope of staying alive in the prestigious Malaysia Cup. On paper, for now now at least, Melaka has the plus factor after the 1-0 win on Sunday.
However, is stops at that for Kim Swee and company as there is still another half of the battle to be won.
”We must be focused. At the same time we must score from the chances we create. We cannot afford to waste scoring chances,”’ added Kim Swee, who quit his post the FA of Malaysia (FAM) technical director to become the Sabah head coach.

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