Singapore winger Faris Ramli thrilled with PKNS’ start to Malaysia Super League campaign, likens captain Safee Sali to Wayne Rooney.
Three games into the 2018 Malaysia Super League season and PKNS are perched at the top of the table, one point ahead of reigning champions Johor Darul Ta’zim.
K. Rajagobal’s charges started with a 2-2 away draw at Terengganu before claiming a last-gasp winner against Pahang in their first home game. They followed that up with a comfortable 2-0 away win against Perak to make it seven points in three games.
The Red Ants’ foreign contingent of Zac Anderson, Romel Morales, Jonathan Costa, Rafael Ramazotti and Faris have proved to be shrewd signings by Rajagobal and they are hoping to continue their good form away to Kedah on February 25.
“It has been a dream start for us but it’s too early to say because everyone is separated by one to three points,” Faris told FOX Sports Asia.
“We are not going to celebrate like we won a championship because we know this year is going to be tough. All the teams are stepping up and every team is capable of beating each other.”
The former Home United winger who is playing abroad for the first time, credits coach Rajagobal and captain Safee Sali – for their scintillating start and reckons that both men are going to push the squad all the way through the long season.
He said: “The next game to Kedah is going to be a challenging one and coach Rajagobal will crack his brains to come up with the right lineup.
“Coach has formed a team with a good balance of young and experienced players and everyone is not guaranteed of a starting spot so we have to be on our toes in every training session.
“Over on the pitch, Safee is leading the way as captain and he shows us by being the first player in attack to defend and chase down opponents every time we lose the ball. He reminds me of Wayne Rooney!”
NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER#TheRedAnts #TRAC #FightAll #FearNone
Against Kedah, PKNS will be up against familiar foes like Andik Vermansyah and Baddrol Bakhtiar but Faris is confident that Brazilian striker Ramazotti could be the difference between victory and defeat.
The former Brunei DPMM striker scored 55 goals in 71 appearances in the S.League where he plied his trade for three years before making the move to join PKNS in January and has already opened his account with three goals.
“Rafa is on fire and he definitely completes the team as a whole. He can play as a target man and is great at link-up play.
“The combination of Safee, Mahali [Jasuli], Rafa and myself in the game against Perak showed the potential of our attack.
“If he continues to be the main man in attack, it opens up the pockets of space for me to make those runs and passes from a deeper position.”
And if Ramazotti’s presence in the attacking third is not enough, PKNS can count on the imposing figure of former A-League defender Zac Anderson in defence.
“Zac is the leader at the back and he keeps the rest of our backline on their toes with his strong commanding,” Faris exclaimed.
“You can say that we have the twin towers at PKNS with Zac in defence and Rafa in attack. I’m enjoying the view from the middle of the two towers and I’ll work my socks off to give a bit of magic from there.”
After a seventh-place finish in the league last year, the signs are all there that the Red Ants are ready to go one better and give the big boys like Pahang, Selangor and the Southern Tigers a run for their money.