Kelantan urged to make home advantage count

Kelantan have been warned they could be made to pay if they do not make the most of home advantage in the first leg of the Malaysia FA Cup semi-final against Terengganu.

Khairul Fahmi, Zairul Fitree Ishak, Kelantan

By FOX Sports staff

The Red Warriors, reigning champions of the competition, take on their East Coast rivals on Saturday in Kota Bharu, with both sides looking to get a result ahead of next Tuesday's return encounter at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium.

All of Terengganu's home matches this season have been held in the afternoon, something which has seen several sides struggle to cope with given most Malaysia Super League games are held in the evening.

And Kelantan team manager Haji Azman Ibrahim believes his side must gain a significant advantage at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium on Saturday ahead of next week's second leg.

"We've got to get the job done at home because the return leg in Kuala Terengganu will be played [in] sweltering heat," he told the Star.

Kelantan, who won the domestic treble last term, have been disappointing in the league all season long and have almost no chance of retaining the title as they currently trail leaders LIONSXII by 11 points with only five games left to play.

They were also eliminated by Hong Kong's Kitchee from the AFC Cup last week and given the likes of LIONSXII, Darul Takzim, Selangor and ATM are all expected to challenge for the Malaysia Cup, the FA Cup could be the Red Warriors' best chance for silverware this season.

And while Azman admits it is important for his side to rediscover their form, he does not believe it will be easy against the Turtles, who have improved significantly after a dreadful start to the year.

"We need to revive our fortunes after struggling in the Super League and bowing out of the AFC Cup Round of 16 recently," he added.

"It won't be easy because we're up against the 2011 FA Cup winners."

Kelantan have not won in their last three games in all competition and will be looking to end that poor run on Saturday.

Image courtesy of FAS (Eric Lim)

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