Shahril Ishak: 'We always set out to win'

The LionsXII captain remains upbeat ahead of their crucial clash against a star-studded Johor Darul Takzim side in the Malaysian Super League
By Khalis Rifhan

The LionsXII may now be second in the Malaysian Super League table, but they will face their biggest hurdle yet on Tuesday night in the form of star-studded Johor Darul Takzim, who are led by former Singapore international Fandi Ahmad.

Although Darul Takzim is three places behind the LionsXII, both are separated by only one point and an unfavourable result for V. Sundramoorthy’s boys may see them tumbling down the table, depending on results of other matches. 

Many will want to avoid a match against the ‘Manchester City’ of Malaysia, but one will be hard-pressed to find any signs of nervousness or uncertainty in the LionsXII camp at the moment – more so after their morale-boosting 3-0 win over Pahang FA last Saturday.

The Southern Tigers, who boast former Spain international Dani Guiza, ex-Serie A player Simone Del Nero and a whole platter of Malaysian internationals - Safee Sali, Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Safiq Rahim, and Aidil Zafuan, just to name a few - are unbeaten at home this season.

Speaking to Singapore, LionsXII captain Shahril Ishak revealed that there is a good atmosphere in the dressing room ahead of the game. 

“The feeling is good when we won against Pahang. We got three points and [are now] close to the top of the standings. Iam proud of the boys because they played well and we have to continue this against Johor Darul Takzim,” Shahril said.

“We will try to compete against them [Johor]. I never go into any game with a negative mindset. We always set out to win.

“The boys are ready and we are mentally prepared for the game. We promise to give our best and get the result."

The match will be played at the Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos stadium in Larkin, Johor Bahru with kick-off at 8.45p.m.