Selangor set 2017 target at avoiding Malaysia Super League relegation

New Selangor coach P. Maniam has been given a meagre goal of keeping the team in Malaysia Super League (MSL) for the 2017 season after losing a raft of their stars to other teams.

"The management has set a target for me, and that is to avoid relegation," Maniam told The Star.

"But I think we have the quality to do better than that. We don't have stars, but we can rely on youngsters to get the job done."

The depressing season-target comes less than 13 months after Selangor won a record 33rd Malaysia Cup title by defeating Kedah in 2015. They also made the 2016 Malaysia Cup final, having lost to Johor Darul Ta'zim on penalties in the 2016 Charity Shield.

The seven-time league champions are severely depleted ahead of the new campaign after the majority of their 2016 regulars exited for greener pastures.

Ahmad Hazwan Bakri, Nazmi Faiz, R. Gopinathan, Shahrom Kalam and Hafiz Kamal are just some of the names who left after the club became embroiled in a financial wrangle with the state government for funds.

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Selangor have yet to secure cash for the new campaign, but they are planning to compete, albeit with a more meagre budget.

The Red Giants have promoted a host of youngsters to the first team for 2017, and Maniam is banking on seniors like S. Veenod and Khairul Azhan to carry them through.

The former Selangor player will, however, find life difficult in the MSL, with almost every other team beefing up their squads.

Kelantan are another side in serious jeopardy of pulling out of the 2017 campaign after their management admitted there had been no headway in securing financial sponsorship for 2017.

Even so, the Red Warriors are expected to confirm their league participation after an extraordinary general meeting on Thursday.