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Shahrel looking to impress TCH in a big way

03:45 GMT+3 05/09/2018
Shahrel Fikri, Nakhon Ratchasima, Malaysia
Tan Cheng Hoe finally gives Shahrel Fikri a chance in his squad and the latter is determined to make a positive impression on the Malaysia head coach.

Away but not forgotten, Shahrel Fikri is one of only two Malaysians plying their trade in the Thailand League 1 but his call-up to the Malaysia national team proved that he remains very much in the forefront of Tan Cheng Hoe's thinking.

Having made the loan move to Nakhon Ratchasima in the middle of this year, Shahrel has been doing great things in Thailand despite the lack of goals. The 23-year-old only recently broke his goal draught with his new team and that has certainly given him a big boost to his confidence.

Sitting pretty in eight place in Thai League 1, Shahrel has proven himself to be a vital member of Milos Joksic's team as is proven by his constant appearance as one of the members of the starting XI for the team.

"It is always my intention to keep improving and challenge myself as a footballer so that I can help Malaysia. I'm playing at Nakhon to gain more experience to bring back to the national team. I'm still not yet satisfied with my performance there and I'm still adapting to things there," Shahrel told Goal.

Together with Zaquan Adha, Shahrel is one of two available options for Tan in the central striker role. With Tan looks like he has settled on a varying 4-2-3-1 formation, there's only striker's spot available and the Manjung-born Shahrel is likely to get a run out there.

Despite being played in a slightly different position at Nakhon, Shahrel still sees himsefl as a central striker and will be hoping that the short training time in between is enough to convince Tan of an opportunity there.

"At Nakhon, I'm playing more on the left hand side. The first game, I was played as a striker but to help me and increase my playing time, he put me on the left. For Malaysia, we can see that there are good players on the right and left. So there's an opportunity for me in the central position and if coach Tan trusts me there, I'll definitely give my best," added Shahrel.

Shahrel will have two chances to showcase his talents to Tan when Malaysia take on Chinese Taipei (Sept 7) and Cambodia (Sept 10).