Tactics talk takes a hit

Tactics talk takes a hit

With less than two weeks before the season kicks off, we track the LionsXII’s efforts to defend their Malaysian Super League crown

He promised the same sort of attacking style which, in his playing days as a striker, made him the football hero of a nation.

But new LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad has found himself on the back foot, even before a ball has been kicked in the Malaysian Super League (MSL) season.

With less than two weeks before the campaign starts, the 51-year-old is confronting a crippling nine-man injury list that includes key defenders Safuwan Baharudin and Shakir Hamzah.

“At the moment, the signs are not good,” he admitted. “We simply don’t have the numbers.”

His problems deepened last week after it was confirmed that Shahfiq Ghani will be out of action for a month with a spinal compression fracture suffered during last month’s SEA Games.

The attacking midfielder, 21, was instrumental in guiding the team to the MSL title last season, scoring five goals and providing good link-up play with the strikers.

Yesterday, Fandi saw his side fall 0-3 to Persis Solo, in the first of three friendlies they will play during a training tour of Yogyakarta in Indonesia.

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