17th March, 2017
By FRANCIS XAVIER
KOTA KINABALU: Steve Vilmiaire is seeking full commitment from his side following their embarrassing 1-3 defeat to MISC-MIFA in a Premier League tie at the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council Stadium on Wednesday.
The Sabah Rhinos head coach, who described the loss as a huge disappointment, said it is time for the players to take responsibility, for their action.
“Again we killed our game in the first half by conceding goals (three), and making huge individual mistakes, and then in the second half we started to play but it was too late.
“We had opportunities to come back with Maxsius (Musa), Rawilson (Batuil) and Alto (Linus) hitting the crossbar, but again we didn’t succeed to make it,” said Steve.
He added: “The plan was very simple. You can make the best training, the best briefing, implement the best tactics, but if the players don’t get the right spirit to fight and show a better face, even Mourinho (Jose), Guardiola (Pep) can’t do anything because at the end it’s the players on the pitch.”
“It’s a matter of mindset. I didn’t see the team wanting to win. We were scared, we failed in the duels, no reaction, no character. That’s the problem since the start. The players are in the comfort zone.
“Now the players need to shoulder their responsibilities and react as men and not kids. We can’t protect the players anymore. The players have to engage their involvement for Safa or the team. From our side, the staff made it many times,” Steve said, as he seemed to have had enough of all the half-hearted show.
“So now, Safa has known six coaches with experience with almost the same players and in three seasons, the results are still the same (fighting against relegation).
“Maybe we have to ask ourselves the right questions. Is the coaches the problem, I don’t think so,” Steve said.
He said now they will take a short break, and then prepare the team for the Negeri Sembilan FA Cup quarter-final first leg tie at the Likas Stadium on April 1.
“We are trying to exploit and hoping for a reaction from the players. Enough of complaining, talking and asking, now it’s time to make it (happen),” he said.
The defeat to MISC-MIFA has left the Sabah Rhinos sitting in the relegation zone in picking up a mere four points from one win, one draw and six defeats after eight matches into the season.