Amri gunning for much-needed three points
‘Crisis’ was the word being bandied around after the LionsXII suffered defeat away in Kuching against Sarawak FA last weekend.
The Malaysian Super League (MSL) champions had tasted victory only once in their last six outings, including their last three matches at home. Taken down by Pahang FA in the Malaysia FA Cup second round, some profligacy in front of goal saw them held by Terengganu FA before a couple of defensive clangers lost them the tie against Kelantan FA the last time they played at Jalan Besar Stadium.
With the side now lying on an unfamiliar ninth position in the table, key forward Khairul Amri admitted that nothing less than three points will do when they take on a visiting Selangor PKNS side.
“I’m not putting pressure on my team or myself, but we need this win,” he told FFT Singapore after his side’s final training session on Friday evening.
“There are no easy games in the MSL now, but being on home ground means we’ll need to pick up all three points.”
It would not be unfair to describe that lowly defeat to Sarawak FA as one of the worst displays of the LionsXII this season - they were simply outgunned, outrun and outwitted by their hungrier opponents. One week on, Amri is still at a loss to explain why his side failed to show up that night.
“I don’t know man! On that day, things just did not work out for us,” he said.
“Maybe it was due to luck, or maybe we just didn’t try hard enough.”
Improvement is definitely something the fans are expecting on Saturday night and the 29-year-old believes that patience is the key to breaking down stubborn visitors at home.
“I believe you guys do watch our matches – I think we need to do more passing,” he said.
“If it’s a one-on-one opportunity, you should just go for it. If not, we need to start passing the ball more and creating holes to get in. For this game, we really need to work together and score the first goal. From there we need to defend solidly and hopefully grab another goal to see the game out.”
On the personal front, it has been a slow but steady season for Amri. The hotshot has grabbed four goals thus far and is slowly easing his way back to full fitness.
Rating himself as ‘90% fit’ now, the striker is looking forward to play a starring role in his side’s bid to return to the thick of things in the title race.
“We haven’t really looked at the table as much until the last two games in which we lost back-to-back,” he admitted.
“The table is still tight with each team quite close to each other. I believe things can change for us with a win in this game.”
The clash between LionsXII and Selangor PKNS will kick off at 7.45pm tonight at Jalan Besar Stadium, and will also be televised live on Starhub’s SuperSports Arena (Channel 201).