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The new head coach suffered a 1-0 loss to Pahang FA in his first competitive outing but was pleased with the opportunities they created, and hopes fans will be understanding

LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad hopes that supporters will be understanding, following their 1-0 defeat to Pahang FA in the Malaysian Charity Shield on Friday night.

The Singapore legend, taking charge of the team for the first time in a competitive outing, saw his charges go down to a narrow loss in a match that also doubled up as the first Malaysian Super League (MSL) fixture.

Matias Conti slotted in a rebound in the 56th minute to condemn the defending champions to defeat, but Fandi has asked for patience as he tries to guide a young side in his first season.

"I hope the fans understand this,” he said at the post-match press conference, according to the LionsXII site.

“It wasn’t easy to come here and I’m sure any other team will struggle here. Pahang played very well and have very strong centre-backs. We struggled with high balls and credit to them for that.

"For some of the boys, it’s their first time playing such a big game and they took 20 to 25 minutes to settle down. It was a really good atmosphere tonight for them to experience.”

The 51-year-old saw positives in how his team, with an average age of 22.5 years, attacked their opponents and hailed them for fighting "very hard".

Opposite number Ronald Smith described the game as a "little bit of a dogfight" and was complimentary of the LionsXII's performance.

"I think they played some decent football in switching the play,” he observed.

“Also they were always dangerous on set-pieces. I think it’s just that their players needed more dribbling and taking on players in one-on-one situations."

Fandi will have the chance to register his first win when the LionsXII take on Malayisan Premier League side KL DRB-Hicom in the FA Cup on Tuesday at the Bishan Stadium.

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