Uncertain PKNS future adds to Rajagopal’s disappointment after latest defeat

The 63-year-old head coach intimated that for PKNS to lose its existing structure would be a massive loss to Malaysia football given their history.

PKNS FC suffered their second straight loss in the 2019 Malaysia Super League when they were edged out by Kedah 2-3 at Shah Alam Stadium on Tuesday to drop from 8th to 9th in the standings. This came after a poor outing in the previous match that saw them succumbed to Felda United 5-4 at Tun Abdul Razak Stadium last week.

Despite Kpah Sherman’s best efforts in the match, scoring twice early in the second half to not only peg Kedah back but to give the home team the lead, another defensive collapse meant that K. Rajagopal’s team are still left searching for their first point since the June international break.

Rizal Ghazali’s winner increased the worry over a leaky defence which has now conceded eight goals in two matches. Rajagopal had Tamirlan Kozubaev back in the starting line-up after Shahrom Kalam was used in the Felda match but still was left unimpressed with how his defence performed on the night.

“Definitely I’m very disappointed. The ways that we conceded the goals were disappointing. But performance wise, we still played better than we did in the last game against Felda. Just like against Felda, we conceded a very early goal from a set piece and then we came back into the game. We managed to get the goal in the second half then a mistake from Akram to give away the ball for the second goal.

“We wanted to give some more energy with our substitutions but they did not do what we wanted. Yes, the defence need to be more strong and discipline throughout the 90 minutes. We cannot keep losing our focus and keep getting caught in counter attacks,” said Rajagopal in the post-match press conference.

However the defeat is not the only worry engulfing the football club. It was revealed earlier this week that Selangor Football Association are planning on restructuring the teams under their banner and rumours are abound that PKNS could be converted into a feeder club and dropped into the Premier League as a consequence.

As a team with a 52-year history, it would be a real shame to see them faltering away in such manner and having played for the club before, Rajagopal echoes the same sentiment, pointing to the plethora of stars that has graced the club in the past and the rich history that they club has.

“On that issue, I cannot say much because I don’t know how the players feel about it. For me, it is important to focus on each game. Overall the boys played well. To me there were no signs from the body language of the players that they did not play with their hearts out.

“I only can say that PKNS has a lot of history and legacy. Before, I played for PKNS with all these legends. I worked in PKNS for 22 years. PKNS consisted of 8 to 9 players who played for Selangor for 10 to 13 years, I can only speak on behalf of them.

“There was PKNS and there was Selangor. And from these players, a lot of them played for the national team. PKNS has a lot of legacies. If you talk about history and achievements, these players like Mokhtar (Dahari), Arumugam, Santokh Singh, Soh Chin Aun, Reduan Abdullah, Rashid Hassan and including me. We were Selangor and Selangor were PKNS,” added Rajagopal.


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