BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
PKNS FC winger Faris Ramli has nothing but praise for head coach Datuk Rajagobal Krishnasamy, who according to him has injected a more attacking brand of football at the club.
The club side, who in previous years seldom finished their Malaysia Super League campaigns in the top half of the standings, have showed marked improvement this season under new boss Rajagobal, having picked up two wins, one draw and one defeat out of four league matches, with their only defeat so far coming at the hands of Kedah on February 25, in an entertaining thriller at the Shah Alam Stadium that ended 4-3.
Singapore international Faris himself has played every minute of PKNS' four league matches this season, scoring one goal and providing one assist in four league appearances since joining the Shah Alam-based team in the pre-season.
Speaking to Goal following their 4-1 win over Hanelang FC in their round two FA Cup tie on Friday, the former LionsXII and Home United winger has only praise for Rajagobal; who had been appointed by the club after the 2017 season ended.
"Rajagobal is a coach who emphasises discipline, he is an adept tactician and prefers his team to play attacking football. In training he wants us to play fast, simple football.
"He has something that most other coaches don't; he constantly improves aspects of our game, and he knows the best position of our players," remarked Faris.
And the AFF Championship-winning coach has transformed the side into one of the formidable sides in the league this season with his qualities, according to the Singapore international.
"I've spoken to the boys (after signing for PKNS) and they told me that it is practically a new team. They got a new head coach and retained only 10 players from last season, effectively transforming PKNS.
"Everyone's still adapting to the changes, including me. Everyone's in good spirits, trying to work on our chemistry, and the team spirit is something that we must rely on in order to go far this season," he noted.
But for the time being, Faris and the Red Ants refuse to be labelled as one of the title contenders, and are simply concentrating on improving their performance.
"It's too early to talk about our chances of picking up a silverware this year, after all it's just the third round after this (in the FA Cup). The coach only wants us to take things one match at a time. Now that we've won our round two encounter, we're going to focus ahead instead, on our league game against Kelantan.
"Our team chemistry and performance have been improving. Every single one of the boys give their best during training, the key players and the reserves alike. The coach has a headache everytime he has to pick the starting eleven, which is a good sign of things to come for us.
"We have no fixed first eleven and everyone knows what needs to be done when they are selected. On top of this, the formation too gets changed by Rajagobal according to the opponents," said the 25-year old winger.
PKNS' match against Kelantan will be played on Friday, March 9, at their home ground the Shah Alam Stadium.