Ahad, 19 Julai 2009

Narrow Defeat Due To No Fear Mentality: Rajagopal

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 The narrow 2-3 defeat by the Malaysian side against Manchester United was a result of a 'no fear mentality' instilled among his players said coach K. Rajagobal, Saturday.

"After undergoing several weeks of training at the Trafford Training Centre in Carrinton (Manchester United's official training ground) several years ago, Sir Bobby Charlton always focused on "No Fear In Football" which has motivated my style of management," he said.

Despite the English Premier Champion scoring two quick goals through Wayne Rooney and Nani in the first-half, the Malaysian side, made up of mainly Under-23 players, showed a great deal of determination in the match.

"During the first-half break, I told the players to play with urgency in the second half. I also told them that there should be no fear in football, even when facing a formidable side like Manchester United," said Rajagobal, who admitted that changing too many players when the score was tied 2-2, had changed the complexion of the match and outcome.

"We made too many changes and that cost us the match when newly signed striker Micheal Owen scored the winner," he said.

Nevertheless, Rajagobal was happy with his side's performance.

"In the rematch on Monday, the narrow defeat will further motivate them to perform even better than today," said Rajagobal who is expected to maintain the same line-up.

Meanwhile, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was awed by the speed, open play and enthusiasm displayed by the Malaysian side.

"It was nice when we were leading 2-0 early in the first half but were surprised by Malaysia's first goal. Then, into the second half, I noticed that Malaysian players were more determined and played with high enthusiasm, particularly, in ball possession," said Ferguson or fondly known as Fergie.

The tour is the Carling Cup and World Cup Club champions' fourth trip to Malaysia, after 1991, 1995 and 2001 when they hammered a Malaysian side 6-0.

Asked about the Malaysian team's improved performance, Alex said: "Absolutely, it has improved since the last tour and that is good."

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