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After appearing on and off in the earlier part of the season, the LionsXII winger has figured heavily in the team's games of late and hopes to take his chance to shine

Having completed all of the LionsXII's last three games against Terengganu FA, Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) and ATM FA within the space of seven days, winger Gabriel Quak has admitted the exertions has taken its toll on him.

But it is a situation the 23-year-old is more than happy to deal with, having only started five other times in the previous 14 matches, with one additional substitute appearance thrown in.

"Definitely, it’s a good kind of tiredness and it feels good to be playing, to be starting and finishing the game," he told Goal Singapore. "For me, I’d rather be playing than sitting on the bench."

Touted as one of Singapore's brightest prospects, Quak had been tipped to build on his 11 appearances during last year's title-winning campaign and make a bigger impact. But he found playing time limited initially this season.

Before facing Terengganu, Quak's last start came in late March against Perak FA, where he was hauled off after just 32 minutes. In the following five matches, he made a substitute appearance, was on the bench twice and was not included in the squad for the remaining two.

It is thus no wonder Quak is delighted to be part of coach Fandi Ahmad's plans again, with the latter perhaps impressed by his displays in a week-long training tour of Myanmar before playing the Turtles.

"It’s where I found my belief back, it’s where I started to play [more] and I think over that few games, my form was not too bad," he explained. "It definitely feels good to be back."

Quak felt "kind of down" when he was left out, but acknowledged that the other wingers - Faris Ramli and Nazrul Nazari - deserved their places as they were in better form. The left-footer, who can play on either flank, was also candid when asked to assess his recent performances.

"It's been mixed la, you know?" he said. "I think I started well in Terengganu and against JDT, Fandi was happy with my first-half performance, but I started to drift away in the second half. ATM also, I think I had quite a bad second half.

"But what matters is that I feel I’ve given my 100 per cent, especially in the last two games where in the second half, my legs couldn’t [last], but I still pushed on.

"There’s always room for improvement but at the moment, I am just pleased that I am playing regularly and this can only be good for me."

One area he is keen to improve in is scoring. While he has two goals in six caps for Singapore, Quak is yet to score in the Malaysia Super League despite being with the team since its formation in 2012. Chances came his way in the recent matches, but Quak failed to make the most of them.

"During the friendly games, where I scored three goals, I thought I could carry on [the form] to the league," said Quak, whose sole LionsXII goal came against DRB-HICOM in the FA Cup earlier this year.

"I am hoping to find that goal, but it just didn’t come, so maybe it is starting to worry me. But I just try to keep that out of mind and hopefully it’ll come, because there are just five games left."

The Malaysia Cup awaits after the league campaign concludes, with the LionsXII's title hopes looking slim now. They lie seventh in the table, 10 points behind leaders Selangor FA, and Quak hopes the team can instead embark on a strong run in the Cup.

"I think the table doesn’t really speak [well]; like for example, the bottom teams can beat the top teams," he pointed out. "I think on our day we can beat any team, it’s just that we’ve been quite out of luck this season.

"We should just focus on the last five games, deliver good perrformances and if we can win and build momentum for the Malaysia Cup, it’d be good."

Quak will hope to continue featuring again when the LionsXII return to action next Tuesday, June 10, as they travel to face Kelantan.

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