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Jelius: Team improvement first!


14th September, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s head coach, Jelius Ating puts team improvement as a priority compared to who they will face in the quarter-final stage of the Malaysia Cup this season.

The former state defender stated that which team will be drawn to face the Rhinos in the last eight of the competition will be irrelevant at the moment as he is focused on strengthening his team.

“It is not important who we will face in the quarter-finals, as far we know, we have qualified by finishing on top of the group and will definitely face the runners-up of Group C.

“Whether it is against the star-studded Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), Kedah, MIFA or Kelantan, we are ready to face them, physically and mentally.

“Rather than occupying our minds on who’s facing us in the next stage, it is better that we focus on strengthening our squad during our final group match this weekend,” he said, when met here, recently.

Sabah qualified for the quarter-final stage for the first time in seven years as they occupy the top spot in Group D on 13 points from four wins and one draw with one match left to be played.

Their closest rivals, Pahang, who will also make it through into the knockout stage, are in second on eight points followed by PKNP FC four and Selangor three.

The Rhinos will entertain Pahang in their final group match at the Likas Stadium on September 16 (Sunday), where the outcome of the match will not deter the positioning of both teams.

However, Group C is an open affair where all four teams still stand the chance of making it through. Current leaders MISC-MIFA and second-placed Kedah are holding the upper hand over their rivals – JDT and Kelantan, who sit in third and fourth respectively.

Both MISC-MIFA and Kedah are level on eight points, but separated by goal difference while JDT are on six and Kelantan five.

For MISC-MIFA and Kedah, a draw in their final matches will be enough to secure their place in the quarters, while JDT need a simple win, with Kelantan needing a two-goal margin win over their rivals.

MISC-MIFA will conclude their group challenge by taking on JDT at the Majlis Bandaraya Petaling Jaya Stadium while Kedah will take on Kelantan at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium in Kota Bahru. Both matches will be played on September 15.

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