BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Selangor boss B. Satiananthan has defended his charges following their 3-2 defeat to Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) in their Super League encounter on Wednesday, but criticised the treatment he claimed to have received from the team's own fans.
In the week 17 clash held in Larkin, the hosts raced to an early goal thanks to goals by Gonzalo Cabrera (10') and Leandro Velazquez (12'), before Khyril Muhymeen pulled one back four minutes from the break for the visitors. Safawi Rasid found the Southern Tigers' third goal in the 61st minute, and while a late penalty allowed Sandro da Silva to close the margin one minute from time, the Red Giants could not find the equaliser.
Commenting on the match, the former Malaysa head coach lamented his forwards' poor finishing, but praised his team's effort considering the absence of many of the squad's first team members due to suspension and injuries.
"Playing against the likes of Johor, if you don't convert your chances you're going to be punished. When Endrick (midfielder Endrick dos Santos) failed to put away an early chance he had, the ball changed hands and they scored from it.
"...We have many players on the crocklist while Farizal (goalkeeper Farizal Harun) is suspended, so it's not easy for the players, and they [relatively did well]. They've given their 100 per cent," he remarked.
According to the 61-year old head coach, the club fans need to understand these setbacks, instead of second-guessing and criticising his decisions, revealing an incident that took place right after the final whistle.
"There are times we must admit that the opponents are better than us. But some people (fans) don't understand this and think that we must win every game. When the boys have given their best and avoided getting hammered, they must be appreciated.
"While walking [into the tunnel] earlier, one Selangor fan swore at me. He wore red, so he must've been a Selangor fan. How can they say such a thing when there are children in the stands? Who wants to bring their families to attend Selangor's matches when obscene words are yelled! What's worse was it came from the grandstand, where the more-educated fans are supposedly are. I've never seen anything like this happen to coaches when I attended matches in Europe.
"They must understand, this is not the 1970's or 1980's anymore (when Selangor dominated). Where were Selangor in the last five years? We are rebuilding under RMS (association president Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin). If they want to be instant champions, it's easy; then they must invest RM60, 70 millions.
"Another thing people condemn me for is for [sidelining] Faiz (winger Faiz Nasir). If they think I'm such an idiot, then why did he get his Malaysia debut while playing under me and not before, while playing for Terengganu [FC]? Can anybody answer that? The thing is, if I want to play him behind the striker, I need to take Sandro out, when he (Sandro) has already scored six goals. No coach is dumb enough to do that!
"And then they questioned me because Faiz scored playing [as a support striker] under Tan Cheng Hoe (Malaysia head coach). But he has scored playing as a winger [for Selangor]; after the Afghanistan game (Faiz's Malaysia debut) he scored two goals for us. Yet when he stopped scoring afterwards fans called me stupid and useless! These comments are made by keyboard warriors, there are thousands of them but none of them attend matches. After beating Kedah, the stadium was still empty," vented the 61-year old trainer.
He also questioned the quality of refereeing in the game, which resulted in the coming suspension of centre back Taylor Regan and midfielder Sarkunan Krishnansamy.
Regan only picked up a yellow card in the encounter, but will miss their coming game against Pahang on accumulated bookings, while Sarkunan incurred a sending off for a more serious misconduct. Midway through the second half, the skipper rushed to take a freekick that was awarded to the visitors in their own half, but in his eagerness booted the ball straight at the referee Fairuzi Mat Desa. He was promptly shown the red card and could well receive an extended suspension from the Malaysian FA disciplinary committee.
"Taylor was booked when it was clear that player number eight (Diogo) dived. I don't want to get in trouble by talking about others, so hopefully the management submits a complaint letter.
"...I'm not justifying his (Sarkunan's) action, but I understand him as a former player. He (the referee) was quick to see Sarkunan's foul and Ashmawi's (centre back Ashmawi Yakin) handball. We were trailing and under pressure, and match officials should know how players feel during these situations. He shouldn't have kicked the ball towards the referee, but what caused the action?" pointed out Satiananthan.
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