Southeast Asia

Penang appoint Zainal Abidin Hassan as head coach

Zainal Abidin Hassan says he’ll try to rejuvenate the club after the ex-Selangor boss is appointed Penang’s head coach until the end of the Malaysia Super League (MSL) season.

Zainal took the hot seat from departed Englishman Ashley Westwood, who failed to win any of his eight MSL games. After two draws and six defeats, Penang are at the bottom of the table, six points from safety.

“This is a time of rejuvenation for me and Penang. My time at Selangor was not a great one, but I have learned from it and am ready to move on,” said Zainal at an official unveiling on Friday.

The 55-year-old was sacked by the Red Giants last August after an abysmal string of results. Since then, Zainal took some time off before spending a short coaching stint as the guest of Malaysian-owned side Cardiff City, who play in England’s second tier.

Zainal, the winner of two FA Cup titles, a Malaysia Cup trophy and a Charity Shield, called on the support of the fans to lift the Panthers out of the current situation.

He said: “I know the expectations are high on me. I am not a magician, I will need the support of everyone connected to the club to save us this season. I will assess and evaluate all the players on Monday, and hopefully, they will give me their utmost cooperation.”

Zainal’s first challenge is an away trip to Felda United in the league on April 9.