By FOX Sports staff
The Armed Forces, who were beaten by Kelantan 3-2 in last year's final, have been handed a relatively straightforward route to the knockout round after being grouped with 32-time champions Selangor, and Premier League duo Johor and Sime Darby.
After seeing his side have to negotiate their way out of a group consisting of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah in last year's tournament, Sathianathan believes they have been dealt a better hand in 2013 but believes his side cannot afford to get complacent.
"I have to admit last year we were in a tough group," he told Sinar Harian. "But this year we've got a more balanced group.
"Nobody in the group is too strong or too weak.
"Both Johor and Sime Darby have really strong teams while Selangor are always tough to face."
Nonetheless, the ex-Malaysia boss is optimistic ATM can go far if they manage to avoid injuries throughout the tournament.
"So far everything is going well," Sathianathan revealed.
"Players are staying away from injuries and I hope we can maintain this mood so we can give good performances in the tournament later."
The Gladiators had a disappointing end to the Super League season and ultimately had to settle for a sixth-placed finish, even though they initially loomed as genuine title contenders.
Image courtesy of ATM FA