Safuwan's return to defence on the cards

Safuwan's return to defence on the cards
Safuwan Baharudin.

In his search for consistency and stability, LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad looks set to go back to methods tried and tested.

After deploying Safuwan Baharudin in an attacking midfield role in a 3-1 Malaysian Super League (MSL) defeat by Sarawak last week, the 51-year-old tactician on Thursday told The Straits Times that he was considering returning his star player to central defence.

"I'm thinking of tightening the defence and adding some steel to the midfield," he said ahead of PKNS' visit to Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday.

"We need leaders at the back and the players say that Safuwan has a commanding presence."

Fandi gave the 22-year-old a more advanced role against Sarawak in Kuching but the gamble failed as the hosts dominated proceedings.

It was a disappointing outing for Safuwan who struggled to make an impact playing behind striker Khairul Amri.

"I'm definitely not satisfied with my performance," the Singapore international said. "But it was always going to be difficult. When you don't see much of the ball, there's little you can do."

Set to take over the captain's armband from Isa Halim - out injured for the rest of the MSL campaign - Safuwan added that his presence in the backline was likely missed in Kuching.

"The rest of the boys are probably more comfortable with me in defence because it's what they're used to," he said.

"But, really, it doesn't matter where the coach fields me.

"I'm ready to play wherever he thinks is best for the team."

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