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Sabah banking on fan power

10th August, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Juil Nuatim is calling on the local football fans to turn up in numbers and became their “12th player” when Sabah Rhinos play their home matches in the ongoing Malaysia Cup 2018 challenge.

The Sabah Rhinos team manager believes a vociferous home support could help the team rattle their opponents, and also turn their home den – the Likas Stadium – into a fortress.

Sabah Rhinos will play their first home tie in the prestigious and oldest Cup competition in the country this Saturday where they will face off with PKNP FC, and Juil is hoping for nothing less than a positive result.

After a fine start to their campaign where they held FA Cup 2018 winners, Pahang to a one-all draw on the road last Saturday, Juil is expecting another good outing from his boys.

“We had a good game against Pahang. They really played well. With a little bit of luck, we could have even brought home all three points from Kuantan. Nevertheless, we are happy to have returned home with one,” Juil said when met yesterday.

“I hope the players will put up the same kind of performance, determination and commitment and spirit against PKNP FC.

“They (PKNP FC) are no pushovers, and their 3-0 victory over Selangor in the opener showed they are a good side and could hurt any team, anywhere.

“But having said that, we must not go into the battlefield having that inferior feeling because the Malaysia Cup is a different ball game, and anything can happen. What is important is for us to play our game.

“As a team manager, I have to be positive always, and I think, they (players) must also be positive. We must not be scared and must make the opposition fear us because we are competing on home ground.

“There are high hopes on us to do well so we have to be mentally strong, perform as a team and try our best to win the match.

“There is always pressure because we are competing at home but we must try to be positive and give our all,” he added.

“This will be our first home match (on Saturday), I really hope the local football fans will turn up in numbers and give the team the much-needed support. After all, this will also be our first Malaysia Cup match on home soil in seven years. We hope they can be our 12th man,” said Juil, adding that fans play a pivotal role in the team’s quest for glory in the prestigious and oldest Cup competition in the country, which remains elusive for the stateside.

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