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Selangor encounter test of PKNS' Malaysia Cup readiness, says Rajagobal

PKNS' 3-2 defeat to Selangor on Saturday was their seventh consecutive winless match, but thankfully it has not affected their Malaysia Cup chances.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Although PKNS FC lost 3-2 to Selangor on the final matchday of the Super League campaign on Saturday, the result did not affect their top-tier status for next season.

Red Ants boss Datuk Rajagobal Krishnasamy also disclosed after the match that he was using the encounter between the two Shah Alam co-tenants to observe his charges' readiness for the coming Malaysia Cup.

"The first goal my team conceded was a good attempt, while the second happened through a silly [miscommunication] error. Another blunder then led to their third goal, although my boys did come back to score our second goal.

"Tonight I wanted to see my players' character ahead of the Malaysia Cup. I wanted them to show consistency and to follow my instructions; whereas they've played well previously, it was in phases and we're still letting in goals. We need to fix this, around two weeks before the cup kicks off.

"Among the aspects that need to be improved upon is our defending in set-piece situations. There have been matches where we should have collected points [but lost due to defensive lapses that led to goals conceded] ," explained the former AFF Championship-winning coach.

When asked what has changed since the beginning of the season, when PKNS recorded four consecutive clean sheets, he provided an explanation.

In comparison, the 3-2 defeat is their seventh straight winless match, with only two of those ending in draws.

"Our defenders such as Nicholas [Swirad], Ariff Farhan, Nik Shahrul [Azim] have been injured. These are our regulars, and their absence has stripped us off that stability in the defence."

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