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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 13 -- ‘Don’t underestimate us’, was the warning issued by Negeri Sembilan FC striker Francis Kone, to the field competing in the 2021 Malaysia Cup.
Despite a faltering start of three points from two matches in Group C, the Togo-born footballer was parrying insults levied against his team in the Malaysia Cup competition.
On paper, most pundits predict that 2021 Super League runners-up Kedah Darul Aman FC and Melaka United FC will advance from the group to the quarter-finals but Kone dismisses that condescending notion as an advantage since his team being 2021 Premier League champions are not under pressure in Group C.
According to him, Negeri Sembilan are no more in honeymoon mood after celebrating their success of finishing as Premier League champions this season and has pledged his best to upset the odds on the TM Malaysia Cup stage.
“The Malaysia Cup field is very different because most teams comprise experienced players and are highly skilled. We cannot dwell on our Premier League success because the Malaysia Cup challenge is very intense and teams have to work doubly hard to upset the formbook.
“As a player, I don’t want to make false promises to Negeri Sembilan supporters. However, we pledge to play our utmost in every match to advance as far as we can go in the Malaysia Cup, so don’t look down on our abilities,” he said in a statement released by the Malaysian Football League (MFL) today.
In any case, the former Kuala Lumpur City FC player expressed his excitement with the return of stadium crowds once the Malaysia Cup resumes its third phase on Oct 29.
According to him, their recent triumph in the 2021 Premier League is a big drawcard to attract fans to the stadium while he believes team spirit will be soaring in tandem with the cheering of supporters.
The squad under K. Devan’s tutelage are now ranked third in Group C, equal on points with Kedah who are however in second spot on better goal difference.
Elsewhere, Melaka lead Group C with six points while Kelantan United are wallowing in the basement without a single point.
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