The first answer that Maybank coach Erling Wallace Tan provided when asked on his thoughts about their clash against defending champions KL Hockey Club was that they will face an uphill task trying to get a point from the match.


But that is what one would expect Wallace to say given the fact that he was quick to add that Maybank will be up against, if not the full national side, but almost the national side as KLHC boasts of having nine national trainees in their squad for the 2011 TBNMHL.

Having said that though, one cannot but help wonder if Wallace has a trick up his sleeve to counter KLHC, who have been on a roll in their last two matches, notching up 2-1 and 7-2 victories over Tenaga Nasional Berhad and Uitm respectively.

In contrast Maybank were edged 3-2 by Sapura but went through an agonising first 21 minutes as they were 3-0 down by then.

"It will be a tough match against KLHC and we have to really plan the match well as we could be punished if we repeat our mistakes against sapura," said Wallace.

"They are an all round side and its difficult to pin point any weakness that they have. But having said that we have to start putting points on the board and cannot afford to be left behind, lest we may struggle trying to make it into the last eight.

"It is a short league thus there is no such thing as trying to make up for lost ground in other matches. We lost crucial points against Sapura largely due to silly errors of our own.

"Against KLHC we just have to be more vigilant as they have players that can punish us."

For KLHC, they were less then impressive despite registering a 7-2 win over Uitm on Wednesday night. But if there was any consolation, it was the fact that they have a host of players that can score goals.

"I visualize Maybank as a wounded Tiger as they can ill afford another defeat.Hence we expect them to pounce on us with aggression and vigour," said KLHC team manager George Koshy.

"They have a good tactician in Wallace as well as a good blend of youth and experienced players.Playing them has always been tough and the results have been close.Our advantage is that we have a tested team compared to their team which is in a rebuilding stage.

"In addition the game against Sapura may have taken its toll on them. We will approach the game in the same disciplined manner as we took on TNB. We will field our bestafter having rested two players in the match against Uitm. With patience and attack minded approach, we hope to prevail."

Out of their 9 goals thus far, they have seven players who have got their names on the scoresheets with Tengku Ahmad Tajuddin and Chua Boon Huat scoring twice while Azlan Misron, Fitri Saari, Harvinder Singh, Kevinder Singh, Ismail Abu scoring once.

But it is the penalty corners that should be an area of concern for KLHC as they have players in the likes of Mohammad Razie Rahim, Ahmad Kazamirul Nasruddin and Baljit Singh who can deliver the goods but have been firing blanks.

"Our penalty corner conversions is off compared to the previous season. I feel its only a temporary setback as they did not have time to train together," added Koshy.



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