They have survived a punishing league schedule, many malicious challenges and even hostile projectiles hurled by rabid fans from across the causeway. All these will grind to a temporary halt as the taxing travels of the Malaysia Super League (MSL) takes a welcomed breather for the indomitable LionsXII.
The next MSL game will not take place until 4 May 2012 and with that tie being the potential title decider, the boys from LionsXII will go on a four day break starting (Wednesday/ Thursday). During that four days period, the players need to abide by a special training program designed by the technical team, to maintain the fitness level during their respective off days.
Speaking to aXrosstheline.com, LionsXII head coach V Sundramoorthy highlighted the importance of this break for the boys to revitalize, and to spend quality time with their loved ones.
The boys deserve this, and this is also to prepare their bodies for tougher days to come when the league resumes,” said Sundram
“This is a huge incentive for the boys, who have been away from their loved ones, as well as for those whose body are feeling from this taxing campaign”
It is important that the boys recharged their energy after enduring a hectic 2011 season and as soon as the league season ended, they boys found themselves back in pre-season again preparing for the current campaign.
With majority of the players expected to be involved in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup at the end of the year, a little break in between the season will help push them right through to the end of the campaign.
V Sundramoorthy has also hinted that the team will line up two friendly matches to ensure the match fitness of the players and to keep them competitive during the 17 days break that they will have.
We’re planning for a friendly match either on the 27th or 28th of April, with the opponents yet to be decided,”
“It will also depend on the number of players that I will have before I decide that we will have a second friendly match.”
“I hope that all the injured players will be back by the time I arrange those friendly matches so that I can play two different set of players in two different games” Sundram said.
The two friendly matches will be a good test for Singapore International, Khairul Amri, who is currently recovering well from an ankle surgery. Team physiotherapist Majid Khan shared that Amri is in line for a much awaited comeback in May.
Amri will play in one of the two friendly matches to determine his fitness and sharpness, before we decide that he can make it for either one of the first three matches in May” Majid told aXrosstheline.com
Khairul Amri has been in full training for the past two weeks but has yet to attain the green light to be eligible for selection for the match day squad as yet. However, the 2007 Suzuki Cup hero looks vividly sharp in training and showed glimpse of his former self.
There’s some positive news in the LionsXII treatment room as well when Baihakki Khaizan (knee) and Sufian Anuar (hamstring) are only a few days away from full fitness. Both players should be back in contention for starting berths against Kelantan while Madhu Mohana remains the only player who will require a longer period to recover from his latest injury.
Sundram is certain that a full squad available for selection will mean better days to come for the LionsXII, though that will likely cause him quite a selection headache. However, he will stick to his winning team and will not make changes if he did not see the need to do so.
While it has been a taxing season for Sundram and assistant coach Kadir Yahaya especially when it comes to analyzing the videos containing matches which the other teams in the league are involved in, Sundram couldn’t have ask for anything more than what he is going through at the moment.
I have to admit that it’s been tough for the last three months, with all the travelling, back to back games, training, and the analyzing of the respect teams. But I cannot ask for anything more because I have a bunch of fighters on the pitch fighting for me, and getting the results that we need,” Sundram praised his troops.
“If you ask anyone out there if they believed that we stood a chance in terms of topping the league, I don’t think anyone would have given us the chance. The all important thing is that we did it.”