|FROM JALAN BESAR STADIUM
By Khalis Rifhan
The LionsXII showed their strength and championship qualities on Saturday night at the Jalan Besar Stadium as they cruised to a 3-0 victory over T-Team.
With six more matches to go, the Singapore club is perched at the top of the Malaysian Super League, a point ahead of last season's Malaysia Cup finalists ATM FA, and with a game in hand over them.
But coach V. Sundramoothy is not about to get carried away with the situation, as he knows he has a tricky away trip to Darulmakmur Stadium in Kuantan on Tuesday.
“We are taking [things] a game at a time and now our focus is on Pahang, who are very strong at home in front of 30,000 fans; I think they’re still unbeaten there," he pointed out.
"But I think they’re beatable if we play the right kind of game.
“The boys are growing in confidence after getting results week in week out and they know they are capable of winning.”
The former Singapore international then turned his attention to the win over the Titans and despite spurning the opportunity to win by a bigger margin, he was nevertheless glad with the three points.
“The first half was great and once we got the goal, we wanted to score more but what is more important is that we got all the players ready for Pahang, no one is suspended and basically to get the result is important too," Sundram said.
“T-Team could have scored and [George] Boateng missed from a few yards out and it could have been a different game. But credit to Izwan [Mahbud, goalkeeper] who had done great and the defence who worked hard.”
As for visiting team coach Che Ku Marzuki, he did not mince his words about their performance and also took a swipe at former Netherlands international Boateng.
“I have told the players that we have to be careful when defending against corner kicks as I know Baihakki [Khaizan] is tall," he lamented.
“[In the first half we conceded three goals and [so in the] second half I made some changes and I told the players to play [more] ground balls and short passes.
“But overall, it’s all about our defending and the mentality of our defenders again - we lost previously to PKNS and Terengganu in the same way.
“Every game he [Boateng] played as an individual, and his age is 37 and he just plays for fun and this is what happens [we lose].”