Trust

As a result, the players trust him. They'd go to him with any problems they have. Sundram is a little more reserved.

He cracks jokes as well, of course, but he knows how to keep his privacy.

He knows how to motivate his boys - he just does it in a different way.

When Hariss Harun made the mistake against Terengganu which led to their goal, Sundram was upset as it was a schoolboy error.

I expected him to lash out at the boy, but he didn't. Instead, he called him in the next day and spoke to him. He encouraged him.

Sundram puts a lot of faith in whoever plays for him. And having been a player himself, he's got a lot of heart for them.

When he was in charge of Jurong FC, he gave opportunities to players like Gusta Guzarishah, Rafi Ali and R Sasikumar, who had been released by their previous clubs.

And each of those players repaid the coach's faith in them on the pitch.

Perhaps that type of faith, and the charisma he has with his players, explain why the LionsXII are doing well at the moment.

You can have all the talent at your disposal, but getting your team to give you 200 per cent every game is not something every coach can do.

Someone asked me once who I prefer as a coach, or rather, who I prefer to work with. It's a tough one to answer. So I replied in jest: "I hope one day, both of them will work, together, under me."

Kadir was talking to Ali Kasim

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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