MSL champions Kelantan’s first ever match against English side Queens Park Rangers ended with the biggest defeat for the Red Warriors in a few years but Kelantan FA’s president, Tan Sri Annuar Musa was not too disappointed with the outcome of the match.
“For us the game was not about winning but to improve the self-confidence of players. The valuable thing is the confidence and experience gained from this game will put us in good stead against Arbil,” said the man behind Kelantan’s football revival.
Kelantan struggled throughout the game as coach Bojan Hodak made several changes to his team. Star goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat was notably missing and plenty of new faces were introduced, resulting in a lot of misunderstandings during the match.
“The team played well in the first half. However, the players’ desire to play against QPR forced us to make substitutions and give everyone a chance to play. Mixing players around with the newcomers affected the team understanding a great a deal.”
When asked about the performance of his captain Badri Radzi, Tan Sri Annuar said, “Badri is a good player and caught people’s attention with his playmaking skills. Hopefully this will spur him on to perform better in the future.” Badri was selected as the man of the match for Kelantan after the match.
Tan Sri Annuar also commented on his new foreign players who participated for the first time against QPR. “The game was not to evaluate the import players because they don’t know each other well yet but we definitely hired them based on their track record. Players like Mijo and Mandjou, we have been monitoring them for quite some time so we already know what we are getting,” he said. Kelantan have brought in Keita Mandjou (Guinea) and Mijo Dadic (Croatia) to help aid their cause in the AFC Cup quarter-final against SC Arbil of Iraq.
Having already won two major trophies this season, Annuar was confident that the Malaysia Cup would also end up in Kota Bharu. “I’m aware that the Malaysia Cup is tougher than the league and the FA Cup but we have to maintain our reputation as the best team in Malaysia so we’ll try our best to get that treble,” he concluded.