Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 11/23/2012 00:19 | By Channel NewsAsia

Football: Lions want focus on team ahead of AFF Suzuki Cup tournament

Football: Lions want focus on team ahead of AFF Suzuki Cup tournament


Football: Lions want focus on team ahead of AFF Suzuki Cup tournament

SINGAPORE: The Lions left this morning for the AFF Suzuki Cup with a dark cloud hanging over their head.

Rumours are rife that national coach Raddy Avramovic could be stepping down after this competition.

The Lions will face defending champions and tournament co—host Malaysia in their opening Group B tie on Sunday.

A group of die—hard fans showed up early to bring a bit of cheer to the team. And they even had a pep talk with the players before their departure for the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

Up to 1,000 Singapore fans are expected to make the trip north to support the Lions at the 100,000—seat capacity at Bukit Jalil stadium.

The team is injury—free and hopes to stay distraction—free as well.

Aleksandar Duric, Team Singapore striker, said the focus should be on the team and not what is happening around the team.

"The players are important because we are the one performing and we are the one who play (the) game, and if (there’s) anything to blame it is the players and not the coaches. We are the one when we step in on Sunday, we need to perform, we have to," he said.

Coach Raddy Avramovic also sidestepped talk about his future, choosing instead to focus on the task at hand.

"It is three good games. Malaysia is a good team, Indonesia can make surprises, and Laos is well improved. We have new players and we hope they will show their qualities," he said.

Singapore has won the AFF Suzuki Cup on three previous occasions. And coach Raddy Avramovic was instrumental in two of the Lions’ victories. But with speculation that this could be his last AFF tournament, the players are more determined to lift the AFF Suzuki Cup and provide what could be the perfect parting gift for their coach.

— CNA/de

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