Former Liverpool player, El Hadji Diouf has stressed that he’s here to help Malaysia Premier League side, Sabah gain promotion back to the Malaysia Super League next year.
“It’s not fair to say I am Sabah’s main strength just yet. My new teammates are equally important. They are my family now and without them I’m nothing,” Diouf told FourthOfficial.com
Diouf who started training with Sabah for the first time yesterday also said that the support from everyone in the team is crucial to achieve their aim next year.
“I am not here as a superstar. I am not a superstar. I am here to put Sabah on the map.
“I had tough times with my national team, Senegal too. We had to play difficult games but in the end we qualified for the World Cup. Senegal is a small country but we never give up until we achieve our dreams to play in the World Cup.” he continues.
Diouf who also played for Sunderland, Blackburn Rovers and Leeds United went on to say that he’s open to advices and suggestions needed for or from the team.
“Without the team’s support, I’d be nothing in this team. My door is always open for discussion about anything,” he said.
Despite his reputation as a player, Sabah FA’s CEO, Datuk TC Goh has called for fans to rally behind the Senegalese’s back.
“We respect Diouf’s character as a person. Many criticise him due to his reputation but I believe he is a true professional and I’m confident that he will respect his contract here,” said TC Goh.
He added: “He knows the rules in football and by right he should understand it better than our local players. We should give him a chance. There’s no point in consistently directing negative comments towards him.”
TC Goh however refused to mention the details of his contract but remains positive with the signing.
“Flying from Senegal to Sabah, he had to go through three transits. We are not paying him a huge salary either so if he wants to create trouble, he didn’t have to fly so far.
“I’m positive with Diouf’s signing and I believe he can be an inspiration to our team.”