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Forward thinking is Fandi's emphasis

The Straits Times | Terence Ong | Sunday, Apr 13, 2014

Fandi Ahmad's report card for his LionsXII side reads "good but there is room for improvement"

SINGAPORE - With the Malaysian Super League (MSL) now at the halfway stage, Fandi Ahmad's report card for his LionsXII side reads "good but there is room for improvement".

After winning the title last year on the strength of an entire season unbeaten at Jalan Besar Stadium, results this year have been patchy, with the team unable to string more than two victories together.

The LionsXII are fourth in the 12-team table on 18 points, four points behind leaders Pahang.

Coached by V. Sundramoorthy last season, the LionsXII were a pragmatic counter-attacking side but Fandi is trying to entertain with his gung-ho, all-guns-blazing style of attacking football.

The 51-year-old explained: "It takes time to get the boys to play a style of football that is more open and free-flowing than before but still, the transition period has taken longer than we would have liked, thus the inconsistent results.

"The good thing is that the boys know their roles better now, and are creating chances in front of goal.

"We just need to start converting these chances and the better results will come, starting this week hopefully."

While Khairul Amri is the joint-second leading scorer in MSL with five goals so far, none of the other forwards - Shahfiq Ghani, Sufian Anuar and Khairul Nizam have scored in the league this year. Fandi has a Plan B but it is an open secret that when the going gets tough, the former national captain will push centre-back Safuwan Baharudin up front to find the net.

The tactic has paid off, with the 22-year-old scoring three times, which led to Fandi admitting: "The whole of Malaysia already knows."

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