SINGAPORE, 15 January 2015: Singapore’s current in-form striker Khairul Amri, 2014 S.League hotshot Sahil Suhaimi and wing wizard Faris Ramli.
These are some of the attacking talents LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad will possess for the upcoming 2015 Malaysian Super League season, and it is little wonder that he will enter his second season in charge hoping that attack is the best form of defence.
“Last year we had a better defence, but this year we have a better attack. The positive thing is that the majority of the team is still intact, so hopefully they will learn from last year’s mistakes,” Fandi shared after a training session at Jalan Besar Stadium.
“My biggest worry is finding enough cover for the defence, especially on the left, with Zakir Samsudin being young and inexperienced. Hopefully, Afiq Yunos will be injury-free throughout the season.
“As for right-back, Faritz Hameed is still injured, so we are trying to play Nazrul Nazari in that position.”
However, Fandi has faith that his midfielders and attackers will step up to the plate and deliver.
“During this pre-season, I have seen players like Nazrul and Amri improving. Chris van Huizen has looked very good so far since recovering from his injuries and is strong now,” noted Fandi.
“I can see that there is improvement in Zulfahmi’s Arifin’s game, from the time he spent with the national team. Fitness in the squad has also improved overall, especially for players like Khairul Nizam.
“Having Sahil and Faris in the squad will also add more bite upfront. We will definitely try to get the best out of the current players that we have.”
New signings Van Huizen, Wahyudi Wahid and Izzdin Shafiq have also impressed Fandi so far in pre-season training and the coach has shared with them the rigours of playing in the MSL.
“It is important for them to be confident and be ready. This is of a high level, playing against good foreigners, it will be very different,” said Fandi.
“They must be on their toes all the time, stay fit and focused. Everyone that we call upon must be ready to play, because injuries will surely come.
“Chris has the potential to be a key player if he adapts to the style of MSL this season while Wayudi looks good playing at centre-back even though he’s not the tallest player around.
“With the upcoming friendly matches we are playing, they will gain the exposure and experience of playing against Malaysian sides who have big and taller players.”