Exclusive: Erison Baiano backs Malayan Tigers ahead of AFFSC

Terengganu’s foreign player for last season is convinced the Malaysian players will show their true colours when the tournament gets started

Brazilian midfield maestro Erison Baiano believes that the Malaysian national team will do well against Singapore in their opening fixture this weekend, despite the Malayan Tigers struggling for form in recent friendly matches. K. Rajagopal's men have won none of the recent four friendly matches, losing against Thailand and Vietnam, while scraping through with a draw against minnows Hong Kong and Bangladesh.

Fans have widely voiced their concerns on the shambolic form of the team and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) even rebuked coach Rajagopal for the inconsistency in his tactical decisions. Per contra, Erison dismissed those claims, stating that there is more to this Malaysian team that meets the eye.

"Malaysia actually have a very good team. They are very solid and flexible as well. I think they will do well against Singapore this weekend and win the game.

"I have friends in the national team and will be supporting them this weekend."

Erison Baiano was a prominent figure in the Terengganu midfield throughout this year, often playing a pivotal part in building up attacks. However, the Terengganu FA decided against renewing his contract for next year and he is set to depart back to Brazil in search of a new club. Erison was crowd favourite in his short tenure with the Turtles and he claimed that the Terengganu fans have been the highlight of his one year in Malaysia so far.

"My family and I have enjoyed our stay in Malaysia so much. Travelling around with the team and winning games have been very important for me, but my mission from the beginning was to do it for the Terengganu fans. They have been terrific and I would like to thank them all for their support throughout the past 11 months.

"I am definitely leaving Malaysia with a lot of memories and will certainly miss Terengganu, and it's fans. It's been a memorable one year.