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The coach was pleased with how some of his younger squad members changed the face of the game and called his selection dilemma a ‘good headache’

By Kenneth Ho

LionsXII V. Sundramoorthy has praised his youngsters for their performance against Terengganu FA in their 2-1 victory, and was happy his players are giving him a selection dilemma.

Sundram’s shrewd tactical changes in the game proved to be the difference, as the LionsXII got back to winning ways with the youngsters performing admirably and helping the team to claw back from a goal down.

“The two positive changes we brought on after the break to go on the offense because we were already trailing 1-0,” he revealed at the post-match conference.

“So we got to take a chance, try to go forward and try to get the equaliser. “

Gabriel Quak and Syafiq Zainal, who both came on at the start of the second-half, came in for praise, along with captain Shahril Ishak for changing the face of the game.

“I feel in the second-half we were more fluid, I put Shahril [Ishak] back into midfield to start the attacks. All the attacks were coming from Shahril Ishak, he was making the passes, transitions [from defence to attack] and runs,” Sundram said.

“Syafiq Zainal and Shahfiq Ghani were getting more balls, getting more involved in the game. [Through] Gabriel we were forcing free kicks and corner kicks, which eventually we managed to get a goal [from].

“I think the boys tried their best and I believe we can see more of them because they are putting up a good show and I think it is fair that they should get more opportunities to play.”

Sundram is keen to keep his young squad firmly grounded and stressed that there was still much of the season to go.

“One, two games will not make a season for them - it is about consistency, it is about players turning up for the game, it is about working hard for the team," he asserted.

"It will take some time before all the players mature and understand what I want from them."

However, the former Singapore international is happy that he now has a situation where he has selection dilemmas due to his players playing exceptionally well.

“It is a good headache when players step up so that all the players will not take their positions for granted and they will work harder in training and show me that they want to play and fight for the team," Sundram explained.   

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