|By Teng Kiat
A much-revamped LionsXII squad got their 2013 Malaysian Super League [MSL] season off to a flying start when they defeated newly-promoted ATM FA on Wednesday night, despite many predicting they would struggle to cope with the absence of key players Safuwan Baharudin and Hariss Harun.
Speaking to Goal.com Singapore after their training session at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night, LionsXII head coach V. Sundramoorthy urged his side to stay focused and keep working hard so as to “get as many points as possible”.
“It’s still early [in the MSL]; I mean, it’s a long season and we still have 21 games [to go], and one game doesn’t make a season,” Sundram said.
The ex-Singapore international also spoke about what the new, mostly Under-23, players had brought to his side in his second season in charge, after leading them to a runners-up finish in their debut 2012 season.
“They have youth, they have energy and they have running ability. The most important is [for them] to be composed,” Sundram pointed out.
“[They have] to keep the ball, try to make chances and get shots on goal [and just] go out there to play and do their best.”
Skipper Shahril Ishak, who scored the solitary goal in their opening 1-0 win against ATM, did not participate in training, but should be available for tonight’s game against Selangor FA at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
“He [Shahril] was tired and he needs to recover [but]I think he should be okay; let’s see how [the situation is tomorrow],” Sundram said, before adding that they were looking to build on their winning start to the season.
“We would love to [get another win], but we are playing the giants of Malaysia, let’s see how it goes.”