Fajr Ibrahim no show after Kelantan loss, Yusri claims players are pampered

Nicolas Anil Nicolas Anil

Kelantan FA assistant coach Yusri Che Lah admitted relegation is a genuine possibility after the troubled east coast side were annihilated 5-1 by Kuala Lumpur FA on Tuesday.

Kelantan have now lost seven of 11 Malaysia Super League (MSL) matches, and are firmly rooted second from bottom.

But despite the heavy defeat, Yusri stood by his head coach Fajr Ibrahim who did not attend the match press conference.

“If we continue like this, we may not be able to sustain in the MSL. But for me, Fajr’s approach in football is one the best I have seen. Not only for Kelantan, but also for Malaysian football,” Yusri told FOX Sports Asia.

“Malaysian footballers are too pampered. So it’s difficult for them to accept a coach with character and someone who wants to make a change. He is the best coach I have worked with.”

Fajr had made drastic changes since taking over in March.

He had released many of the team’s senior players including Mohd Badhri Radzi, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat and Amiridzwan Taj.

Foreign players were also not spared, with South Korean midfielder Do Dong-hyun now forced to train by himself following a fallout with the Syrian.

Yusri refused to comment if all these in-house troubles have compounded to the performance on the field, but knows Kelantan are running out of time.

He also wants the two remaining imports Alaeddine Bouslimi and Cassio de Jesus, to tighten up the defence.

“We are relying a lot on them and I hope they will buck up as soon as possible. We also have fewer imports, which is why we are struggling. When we can sign more foreigners I’m sure we’ll improve,” added Yusri.

When asked if Fajr will quit again after this defeat, Yusri said : “No I am sure he won’t quit. But it’s difficult to come and face the press after such a heavy defeat, so I understand his situation.”

Fajr had wanted to quit the club earlier this month after three consecutive losses, but was coaxed to stay on by president Bibi Ramjani.

The MSL action is set to continue on Wednesday, with league leaders Johor Darul Ta’zim hosting bottom side Negeri Sembilan at Larkin Stadium.

Other matches will see PKNP FC welcome the visit of Selangor FA, while Melaka United FA take on PKNS FC.

Photo credit: TRWFC Facebook