KOTA KINABALU, Sept 25 ― The Sabah FC management has not set any trophy target or league position, instead wants The Rhinos to be strengthened to be able to compete with other teams in the Super League and higher levels, said head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee.
Kim Swee said as a result of his discussions with Sabah Football Association president Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and the Sabah FC management, efforts to strengthen the team would be more focused on preparing Sabah FC to face the Super League next season with various plans.
Apart from that, the former Harimau Malaya (national squad) head coach said that he was also given the responsibility to ensure that the junior players development programme in the state was able to produce new talents who could feature as Sabah FC senior players in the future.
“This is a big responsibility and when discussing with Datuk Seri (Bung Moktar Radin) and the management of Sabah FC, we did not set any targets or high targets, we need to be realistic here ... our goal is to be better in the 2022 Super League.
“Of course, I am not here to focus on the senior team only, instead we need to touch all levels in Sabah where we can unearth young talent for us to field in the future,” he told at a press conference here last night.
Kim Swee had earlier attended the signing ceremony of his two-year contract with Sabah FC which was witnessed by Bung Moktar, who is also Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah.
Asked about Sabah FC's preparations for the Malaysia Cup, the 50-year-old coach said he wanted all players to take the one game at a time approach and show high fighting spirit.
“I hope we can show this fighting spirit in the first match with PJ City FC and then with Kelantan FC, if we can achieve success in the two matches, our chances will be more open to the quarterfinals,” he said.
In the Malaysia Cup this season, Sabah FC are drawn in Group D with Johor Darul Ta'zim FC, PJ City FC and Kelantan FC, and will play their first match this Monday (September 27) against PJ City FC at the Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium (MBPJ ), Selangor.
Meanwhile, Bung Moktar in the same press conference said Sabah FC did not want to put any pressure on Kim Swee and Sabah FC players, instead wanted everyone to give a high commitment in games and efforts to strengthen the team.
“We put our trust in him (Kim Swee) and the players, we should not hope to win straightaway because we see that even world-class players worth hundreds of millions can fail to score goals, we should not press to win but play with high commitment,” he said.
He apologised to the fans over the team’s string of defeats in the recent Super League competition and called on all to no longer look back and be together as a team to provide more solid rivalry in the future. ― Bernama