FourFourTwo spoke to four former Lions and they were unequivocal in their predictions for the Lions’ do-or-die clash against Myanmar tonight.
Rezal Hassan, Steven Tan, Ridhuan Muhammad and Indra Sahdan Daud give their take on the heart-breaking loss against Thailand, while previewing tonight's do-or-die match against Myanmar.
What did you think of the loss to Thailand and how can we recover from this result?
I think we should have won. In big tournaments like this, you have to take your chances - which we didn’t. From what I’ve seen, some of the young ones need to step up their game on Wednesday. It was important to get a win to boost our confidence but we lost.
Physically, they’ll be tired but mentally they’ll need to be strong. There’s no choice tomorrow but to get three points.
- REZAL HASSAN, represented Singapore from 1994 to 2002
I think we lost the bite in midfield to go forward once we shifted Hariss (Harun) to defence. We also wasted a few chances to go ahead and got punished in the end. I think some of the younger boys were overawed by the occasion, for example Faris, who got a chance which he would usually bury.
Now it’s definitely win or bust against Myanmar and I think the experienced players like Shahril (Ishak) and Shahdan (Sulaiman) has to step up tomorrow; they were pedestrians [in the first game] and not involved much in supporting (Khairul) Amri.
- STEVEN TAN, represented Singapore from 1992 to 2001
We really matched Thailand in the second half but failed to score, that’s why we got punished. It was really unlucky as I thought we deserved a draw. Now we win a win against Myanmar and I think the players now need to show the desire and pride of playing for our country.
- RIDHUAN MUHAMMAD, represented Singapore from 2003 to 2011
We played really well and created chances which we failed to convert. That penalty was really unlucky – Tim Cahill did the same thing against Liverpool years ago and got away with it, but Safuwan got punished for that.
- INDRA SAHDAN DAUD, represented Singapore from 1997 to 2013
There are a lot of people blaming Baihakki Khaizan for a mistake leading to Thailand's first goal… What’s your take on that and do you think he should start tonight?
Everyone makes mistakes and I think everyone is pointing the finger at him because he’s an experienced defender. I think he should still start this game because you need your experienced players in such a big game. Myanmar have a few attackers who are short and nippy, so maybe he can use his height to his advantage. If he is dropped, I wouldn’t be surprised if Afiq Yunos comes in.
At the end of the day, it’s not about one person – people criticized him because of his experience. I think it’s a defensive error. You can argue that Bai is out of position but the nearest defender to him should be able to see that and needs to communicate that to him. I’m sure he can recover from this for this game.
Do you think Raddy Avramovic’s Myanmar has what it takes to trouble us?
I watched their game against Malaysia. Although they’re an inexperienced side, they have number of fast and nippy players who can spring a surprise. Raddy also knows us inside out, given that he coached most of our boys before.
Myanmar looked good against Malaysia with their build-up play in the attacking third, but when it comes to the final ball, it’s missing. I think they will not be able to trouble us as much as Thailand.
Myanmar was hardworking and disciplined which [troubled] Malaysia that day, but individually we’re still above them. Our style of play is predictable and Raddy should have known our weaknesses by now, but it’s up to the boys to perform now.
Yes, Raddy knows all about our players but he can’t do anything during the game – it’ll be up to the players. That said, I think we’ll have a difficult time if Myanmar play according to his game plan.
What’s your prediction for tonight's game against Myanmar at the National Stadium?
Singapore to win 3-1. Khairul Amri, Fazrul Nawaz and Shahril Ishak to score.
Singapore will win 2-1. Amri and Safuwan (Baharudin) from a set piece.
Singapore 2-0. One from Amri and one from Shahril.
Singapore to win 2-0. Amri and Bai will score.