By Kenneth Tan
Despite being out of the running for a quarter-final spot of the 2014 Malaysia Cup, the LionsXII gaffer wants his boys to take tonight’s game against Felda seriously
SINGAPORE, 2 September 2014: Their hopes of a good run in the Malaysia Cup may have been extinguished but the LionsXII will definitely not let their guard down in their final Group A game.
That’s the message that head coach Fandi Ahmad intends to send out to the LionsXII faithful ahead of tonight’s away clash against Felda United.
“We’re not here for a holiday,” he told the official LionsXII website after Monday evening’s training session.
”The boys are professionals and they will not take their foot off the pedal. We’ll give our best in this game and we definitely want the three points from this game.
The mood within the LionsXII camp has evidently been lifted, following their morale-boosting 2-1 scalp of Pahang FA in Kuantan four days ago.
Despite trailing to an early Dickson Nwakaeme goal, the 2013 Malaysian Super League (MSL) champions rallied together in the second half and duly picked up their first three points of this Cup campaign via a pair of headers from Sufian Anuar and Madhu Mohana.
It was a certainly a victory to savour for the boys, as well as coach Fandi. “This win has definitely raised the confidence of the boys,” he said.
“I’ve been really pleased with their never-say-die attitude. They’re young, hungry and willing to learn. It’s nice to see the fire and desire in them when they played against Pahang.”
It has been a good few days for the boys as they stayed over in Kuantan for team-bonding activities following Friday night’s victory, before flying to Kuala Lumpur on Sunday for the preparations for this upcoming game.
Fandi revealed that has helped them take their minds off their early elimination from the Cup competition.
“It’s good that we had some team bonding sessions during our free time (after the game),” he said.
“We were all disappointed not to advance to the quarter-finals but this will only be a catalyst for the team to achieve better results next season. We’re feeling good right now and we’re here to win.”
Meanwhile, left-back Shakir Hamzah and forward Khairul Nizam are rated ‘doubtful’ for this game because of niggling injuries.
The Malaysia Cup Group A game against Felda United will kick off at 8.45pm tonight at Stadium Selayang, Kuala Lumpur. Fans can catch the game ‘LIVE’ via Starhub Channel 205 (Supersports Arena) from 8.30pm onwards.