IF there is any team that “can park their bus” and stop the JDT juggernaut, Petaling Jaya City come to mind. And defensive-minded PJ are known for their solid and organised play.
As such, K. Devan’s side present an intriguing match-up to free-scoring JDT who demolished Perak 7-0 and Selangor 6-1 in their last two Super League matches.
Devan has seen what happened to his “big brother” Selangor who sacked their coach B. Satiananthan after the thrashing by JDT.
Satiananthan knew what was coming, and on the eve of the match last Saturday, implored his men to dig in and avoid a big defeat. But alas to no avail.
But Devan, the “driver of the biggest bus” in the Super League, hopes to park his properly today at the MBPJ Stadium.
If the PJ City coach can get his men to hit all the right gears, they may delay JDT’s coronation for another week.
For a win for the Southern Tigers today is enough for them to be crowned Super League champions for the seventh consecutive year.
Devan knows he had played the right strategy against JDT and won before.
Yes, he parked the bus at JDT’s backyard in last year’s Super League and got away with three huge points from a shock 1-0 triumph.
And leaving behind JDT’s broken home record of a 75-match winning streak which started way back on April 14, 2012.
Devan said JDT are an attacking team and the only way to match their strength is to defend.
“We have to play according to our strengths.
“JDT, looking at their track record, are the best team in the league and they are also the best in terms of attack.
“So, we cannot play an open game. We want to play in a certain way and at the same time, we need to defend well to get good results.
“PJ City need to get the points to get out of the relegation zone. I am more concerned about my team’s performance rather than JDT’s.”
The Phoenix, playing with Kogileswaran Raj and Safee Sali upfront, drew 1-1 with Melaka last week. PJ City are 10th in the table.
JDT coach Benjamin Mora has urged the Southerners to take every game like “it’s the first game of the season and the last of their lives.”
“We never know… because to play a good game, we need a lot of strength. We should try to win with authority, character and with our style… always,” he said.
“Begin and finish with our style. That’s what we’re going to try to do.
“It will be a very tough match and that pitch (MBPJ Stadium) is also difficult to play on.
“Their style gave us a bit of trouble in the last game. But I think it depends on us. If we go all out, we will achieve victory,” added Mora.