JDT new boss Ulisses Morais bemoans nine missed chances in MSL victory

New coach Ulisses Morais feels Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) still have plenty to improve on, despite seeing them go nine points clear at the Malaysia Super League (MSL) summit after a 2-0 win over Penang on Saturday night.

Victory at Larkin Stadium, earned through goals from Mohammed Ghaddar and Gonzalo Cabrera, means the Southern Tigers need to win only five of their remaining eight matches to seal a fourth consecutive league title.

But Morais, taking charge of his first game with the league leaders, wasn't happy, despite seeing his closest rivals Pahang and Kedah lose more ground after defeats.

"The important thing is that we got three points from the match. But despite that, there were several negatives in the match," Morais said.

"We did not make full use of our goal-scoring chances, and we had as many as nine chances but we missed."

Morais also expressed concern about the physical fitness of his players, ahead of the Malaysia Cup Group D opener against Sarawak on Tuesday.

"There were players who were affected by different injuries. Safiq had some problem, but in today's match, he received help from Natxo Insa and Amirulhadi Zainal," Morais said.

"Ghaddar also picked up an injury towards the end of the game. We will surely make changes because we possess quality players to play in upcoming games."

Meanwhile, Kedah coach Nidzam Adzha acknowledged that his porous defence needs work after they were exposed in the 3-2 loss to Perak.

"We made three simple mistakes, and it cost us at least a point. We need to work on our defending after this. But I am happy the players gave it everything to try and salvage a goal at the end," Nidzam said.

The defeat was only Kedah's second of the season, and a bitter pill to swallow considering they were without a few key men for the game.

Rizal Ghazali, Ken Ilso and Baddrol Bakhtiar were all missing, and Khairul Helmi will add to that absentee list after leaving the pitch injured in the first half.

Compounding Nidzam's woes is the fact he may also lose up to five players to Datuk Ong Kim Swee's Malaysia Under-22 team, bound for the AFC U23 qualifiers in Bangkok later this month.

"Our preparations will surely be affected if all these players leave us. But we can't do much about it as it is their national duty and I will have to find a way to work around this," Nidzam said.