Here’s a chilling message from Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) head coach Benjamin Mora to the rest of the Super League teams: “I don’t think we are at 100 percent.”
If this JDT side, who are not firing on all cylinders, can shrug aside Kedah Darul Aman FC (KDA FC) 2-0 in the season-opening Charity Shield match at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium today, just imagine what they can do to the rest of the field once they are up and running!
What’s even scarier is that Benjamin feels that the win over KDA FC “is very important in JDT’s efforts to have another amazing season”.
“I don’t think we are 100 percent… this is a very, very good start but I think they can give a lot more. It would be a nice year because they are motivated and still hungry. You can see the players pressing like crazy whenever they lost the ball.
“ but still none of the teams are at 100 percent in the first game, that’s for sure. KDA FC did not give their 100 percent I can assure you. JDT too are not at 100 percent, but we will get there soon (despite the short pre-season),” he said at the post-match press conference here, last night.
JDT scored a goal in each half through midfielder Muhammad Safawi Rasid (34th minute) and Spanish import Natxo Insa (67th) to beat KDA FC 2-0 and retain the Charity Shield for the fourth straight season in a game played in an empty stadium.
Meanwhile, KDA FC head coach Aidil Sharil Sahak admitted that they lost to a better team, although he was full of praise for his men for not going down without a fight.
“It’s normal when you go to an away game against a good team like JDT that they will always try to dominate and put pressure on you for the first 15-20 minutes. But I have to congratulate my boys for doing very well to come here with an all-local back four.
“But, at the end of the day, we have to accept that JDT were the better team. They are strong at their home ground and they also have many good players. And don’t forget, they have many import players compared to us. We also did not have Renan (Renan da Silva) tonight… but that’s not an excuse. I have to accept the defeat and we have to move on from here,” he said.
After a short period of pre-season training, he plans to whip his team into shape so that they would be competitive and achieve the best results possible.
“Of course, we’re going to improve game by game… there are a few players who will be returning to the side,” he said.