KUALA LUMPUR: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim revealed that there are no plans to find a new coach for the team at present, though he is ready to spend big to get even better import players during the second transfer window which opens in May.
Tunku Ismail said that former assistant coach Raul Longhi, who took over as coach from Ulisses Morais after the 58-year-old Portuguese tendered his resignation on February 25, has been doing a good job so far.
"He (Morais) was just right for JDT’s philosophy and policies. In fact, I am very pleased with Raul (Longhi). The players are also comfortable with him, so there won’t be a new coach coming on board,” said Tunku Ismail via a statement published on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page.
Under Longhi’s stewardship, JDT are sitting top of the Malaysia Super League even though their performance in the AFC Cup has been less than impressive.
Many are of the opinion that JDT’s performance this season has not been up to mark, compounded by the fact that former top scorer Jorge Pereyra Diaz abandoned the team last month, along with the decision to rehire veteran forward Luciano Figueroa who had to come out of retirement.
According to Tunku Ismail, he admits that it was a mistake in not spending coming into this season, though he has given assurances that he will address the team’s weaknesses.
"I made a mistake when making the decision to be humble and not to spend too much this year.
"Now I want to spend. Therefore I will make funds available to bring in the best players. I want to buy expensive players. At present there are five imports that make up a ‘shortlist’ that we have. I do not like losing. It does not jive with who we are.
"I know that JDT are having a tough time right now, and I know that JDT are giving it their all. I also know that JDT are sad. But I know that come November we will be playing with fireworks,” he said.