Irfan Bakti expects Selangor clear out

Selangor coach Irfan Bakti will make drastic changes to his side if he remains in charge of the Malaysia Super League outfit next year.

Selangor striker, Bosko Balaban

By staff

The Red Giants' season came to an abrupt end last Friday after they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Kelantan in the second leg of their Malaysia Cup semi-final tie, bowing out of the competition 3-0 on aggregate.

Many had expected Selangor to overturn the first-leg deficit in front of a massive home crowd at the Shah Alam Stadium but they looked uncharacteristically lacklustre and were dominated by their opponents, who eventually wrapped up their progress to the final thanks to goals from Mohammed Ghaddar and Badhri Radzi.

It remains to be seen if what Irfan has achieved in 2012, including finishing third in the Malaysia Super League, will be enough to convince the Red Giants hierarchy to keep him at the helm, but if that proves to be the case, he has promised to ring the changes.

"I [will] leave it to the [Selangor] FA to decide," he told the New Straits Times. "It will be fine if they don't need me as I can always look for another team.

"Selangor need a major overhaul and I have several players on the list for the new season. The FA will decide our future."

Lebanon international Ramez Dayoub, who has been one of the best centre-backs in the league this season, is expected to be retained, but fellow foreign import Bosko Balaban is likely to be shown the door.

The Red Giants have reportedly tabled an offer to Malaysia international S. Kunanalan, while on-loan midfielder S. Venood has already agreed to join the club from USM FC.

It is perhaps understandable that Selangor have been linked to several established midfielders, considering that was the area that Irfan was most frustrated with last Friday.

"I thought my players would be inspired with so many fans in the stadium but they were a wash-out," he added.

"I am especially upset with the midfielders. They easily lost the ball and hardly made decent passes."

Club captain Safiq Rahim is reportedly on the verge of leaving, even though he insists he will only consider his future after the AFF Suzuki Cup, while ex-Malaysia international Amirulhadi Zainal is likely to depart the Shah Alam Stadium as well, after having to warm the bench for much of this season.

Given Selangor have qualified for next season's AFC Cup following their third-place finish in the league, as runners-up LIONSXII are ineligible to represent Malaysia in the tournament, they will be allowed to have four foreigners on their books, although only two will be eligible for domestic competition.

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