JDT eye MSL title, want to fight 'to create history' - coach Ulisses Morais
Head coach Ulisses Morais is rallying the Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) fans to turn up in droves at Larkin Stadium on Wednesday night as they look to move within three points of the Malaysia Super League (MSL) title with victory over Perak.
The Southern Tigers, who hold an 11-point lead at the top of the table, could confirm a fourth consecutive domestic success even earlier should Kedah falter at home to Kelantan.
With that in mind, the JDT coach wants the game to be a raucous affair.
"We are ready and fighting to create history," Morais said via the Southern Tigers Facebook page.
"I really hope the fans will come and pack the stadium tonight to give full support to the club and motivate the players to create history once again."
With the most goals scored (42) and fewest conceded (13), the TMJ-owned club have been dominant in recent weeks after a lethargic start to the 2017 campaign.
New signing Natxo Insa, who has made a big impact since arriving last month, spoke about building a legacy within the club.
"I have been enjoying my time here and we are doing new things every day. Now playing for JDT, I also can do more things with Safiq [Rahim], Afiq [Fazail] and Amirulhadi [Zainal] around me," the former Levante man said.
Perak, who secured a 1-0 success over Felda United last weekend, will be aiming to play spoilers at the Larkin fortress, to boost their chances of a second-place finish.
For Kedah and Pahang, who trail behind JDT in second and third place respectively, it seems there is no catching the reigning champions.
Nidzam Adzha's men are expected to overcome an inconsistent Kelantan side for the three points to delay JDT's apparently inevitable success.
Pahang, meanwhile, should all but confirm Penang's drop to the second-tier Premier League with victory at Batu Kawan Stadium -- even without their suspended coach Dollah Salleh.
Lying five points off the safety zone with five games to play, Zainal Abidin Hassan's side will need to grab all 15 points on offer, while hoping other results go their way to stay afloat.
The race for second spot is also not lost on Selangor, who are tied for fourth with Perak on 27 points, as they travel to Jengka to face Felda United.
The Red Giants have been on a hot streak with four wins in five matches, and they will not surrender hope for second spot in the MSL, which would give them an AFC Cup berth next year.
Felda United vs. Selangor
JDT vs. Perak
Penang vs. Pahang
Melaka United vs. Sarawak
PKNS FC vs. T-Team
Kedah vs. Kelantan
Nicolas Anil is a former Malay Mail and Goal.com Malaysia editor/writer who appears on BFM Radio as a football analyst. Twitter: @nicolas_anil.