Shahril: Fans have a right to be disappointed
The Lions had to come from behind twice to avoid a shock defeat on the hands of their less illustrious opponent, with Shahril empathizing with the fans’ frustrations after the game.
“If I’m one of the fans, I’ll also be disappointed not to get the result,” he told FourFourTwo.
“It takes time to build up (after the AFF Suzuki Cup) and we know that the fans are waiting for good results. Of course we players wanted to do so as well, but it just couldn’t happen tonight.
“Defensively, we did quite well and attackingly, we tried to play our passing game and keep the ball; sometimes we make it, sometimes we don’t.
“In the end we don’t have the result and that matters to us, but we’ll try our best to do better in the future.”
Having missed out on last week’s 2-0 defeat to Thailand, Shahril was glad to have completed 90 minutes this time round, although it might not have happened if coach Bernd Stange had his way.
The skipper was set to be hauled off midway through the second half but insisted on staying on the pitch to help his team push for the win.
“Because I just came back from my injury and I think because of that, coach wanted to sub me,” he explained.
“But at the same time, (Khairul) Amri told me he has a groin problem so I didn’t want to be subbed.
“There’re no attacking options on the bench, so if both of us are going to be subbed off, we will start to play defensive.
“I don’t want that to happen that’s why Shahfiq Ghani came on for Amri and we tried to attack from there.”
Despite the team's disappointing results of late, Shahril is backing Stange and his teammates to do well in the 2018 FIFA World Cup second qualifying stage which will kick off in June.
“Of course it’s not easy, who says it’s going to be easy?” he said.
“But we are all behind coach Bernd and all the backroom staff. We have to stay together now and try to do something. We’re all going back to our respective clubs after this and my hope is that everyone stays healthy and fit.
“We certainly need the good players to be fit if we want to do well in the qualifiers. For me, of course it’ll be an honour if I get a call-up and I’ll give my 110 percent for national pride.”
Photo: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo