Pahang not complacent over lead

Pahang dangerman Dickson Nwakaeme, training at Serangoon Stadium yesterday, scored four goals in five previous meetings against the LionsXII.
Pahang dangerman Dickson Nwakaeme, training at Serangoon Stadium yesterday, scored four goals in five previous meetings against the LionsXII.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Although Pahang enjoy a comfortable 4-1 lead over the LionsXII after the first leg of their Malaysia Cup quarter-final clash, star striker Dickson Nwakaeme believes that the three-goal lead is not enough.

The Nigerian is still annoyed how Safuwan Baharudin managed to ghost into the box to glance home a late consolation in Kuantan for an away goal.

Nwakaeme said yesterday: "It's not a comfortable margin. Even if we had won 10-0, it's not enough. We let in a silly goal at the end."

Pahang, who have won the last two editions of the tournament, will definitely not be going soft on the LionsXII in the second leg.

Nwakaeme said they are ready to pull the trigger: "We need it (the win) more than them. This year, they have already won the FA Cup.

"That's why you saw the way we played in the other match."

But there is a softer side to the muscular Nigerian, who has scored four times in the teams' five previous meetings.

He said: "I always find pleasure playing against the LionsXII.

"Faris (Ramli), Safuwan, they are good and strong players.

"I need to do my best and be even more focused when I play against them. I personally feel bad that they won't be playing anymore."

"But I still hope that they will be the ones who will go out (of the competition)."

With the LionsXII hungry to remain alive in the Malaysia Cup, Pahang are expecting a stronger team than the one they faced.

Coach Zainal Abidin Hassan said: "I've already told my players to expect a tougher and more challenging game.

"They have nothing to lose, but no matter the circumstances the LionsXII are facing, we have to get the job done tonight."

Alvin Chia

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2015, with the headline 'Pahang not complacent over lead'. Print Edition | Subscribe