Longhi pleased with well-rested JDT, Andik Vermansyah misses Selangor

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Raul Longhi reckons rest was the key reason for Johor Darul Ta’zim’s good performance against PKNS while Kedah’s Andik Vermansyah misses Selangor.

Raul Longhi was delighted to see his Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) troops return to winning ways after the 3-0 victory against PKNS FC in the league, and said that keeping his players fresh helped.

The result gives the Southern Tigers a four-point advantage in the Malaysia Super League (MSL), and Longhi said it was due to his players being fresh and well rested.

“We changed 10 players from the team who played in the last game. The players were well rested and it showed in our performance,” said Longhi.

“We played good football, and the players had the desire to win today. It was great character and attitude from all of them.”

A brace from Argentine forward Gonzalo Cabrera and a Safawi Rasid beauty settled matters at a sparsely filled Larkin Stadium, with the visitors offering no threat at the attacking end.

The win sets JDT up ahead of two crucial Cup fixtures against Pahang (FA Cup semifinals) and Song Lam Nghe An (AFC Cup) in the coming week.

Longhi has already indicated he will most likely stick with the same squad for the FA Cup quarterfinals second leg against Pahang on Friday.

“I’m not sure of my line-up yet, but I will most likely use the same players for the Pahang match, we will have to see.”

JDT are the favourites to beat Pahang at home ahead of the tie after a goalless first leg.

They face a bigger test against Song, and must score at least four goals against the 2011 Vietnam champions to progress from the group.

Meanwhile, Kedah’s new winger Andik Vermansyah admitted he still misses his old club Selangor FA despite helping his new club to a 4-0 win over the Red Giants.

“It was a bit difficult to move on from Selangor, and I even lost some sleep thinking about it. But I am a professional, and I am happy to help us to victory. I hope we can lift a trophy this season,” said Andik.

While the win restores Kedah’s spirits and propels them to fifth, defeat drops Selangor to 10th spot, one point above Kelantan in 11.

Photo credit: Johor Darul Ta’zim Facebook