PETALING JAYA: Since the Super League resumed on Aug 28, Melaka have shown great resilience and momentum to emerge as one of the three teams who have yet to lose a game.
Since the restart of the Covid-19 interrupted league, Melaka shocked Perak and Terengganu 1-0 and held Selangor 1-1 to be placed fourth with 10 points in the league. The other two teams who have stayed unbeaten are Johor Darul Ta’zim and Kedah.
The Mousedeer’s rise could be described as meteoric, as they were 11th in the 12-team league with only three points when football was suspended on March 16.
They were in the relegation zone after the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) docked them three points for failing to settle their players’ wage arrears.
Goalkeeper Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (pic) said the points deduction was the impetus for them to do well in the league, even though they were affected with off-field issues.
“Our captains Safiq (Rahim) and Razman (Roslan) told us to do our best. Every game, we must get full points, and there are no ifs and buts to it, ” said the 31-year-old Khairul.
“We do not have many games as the season has been shortened. So, we have to believe in ourselves and get the points. Also, the new management are handling the situation well.
“The relationship between the players and the new management is good as they are slowly settling the arrears, which is what we want as professionals.
“Thanks to their efforts in improving the day-to-day running of the club, we are motivated to do well. Now, we just want to play our part in bringing success to the team.”
Next up, Melaka will be facing Petaling Jaya City on Sunday at the Hang Jebat Stadium, and a win would steer them towards a top-three finish in the league.
Khairul said the Phoenix are not an easy team to play against as they are capable of upsetting top teams.
“To me, PJ City are one of the best teams in the league, and they are not easy to play against. In some matches, luck has actually deserted them. Against us, I am sure they would do their best.
“We will follow coach Zainal’s (Abidin) instructions and do our best to earn three points at home. We aim to continue our unbeaten run.”