Thursday, July 26, 2018

captain Shukri still cool...

By Saiful Affendy Sapran

KUALA LUMPUR: Back-to-back defeats to Australia A in the ongoing five-match series would make anybody else push the panic button, but not national skipper Shukri Mutalib.
  Coach Stephen van Huizen's team is Down Under to prepare for the Jakarta Asian Games, where they aim to win gold and qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
  Australia A is made up of provincial and some former national players, and are not the world No 1 side.
  Malaysia has lost 4-2 and 3-2 so far, and will play again Friday.
  Shukri is not to worried, as he feels they lost because of silly mistakes.
  "We need to avoid silly mistakes in the next three matches, because in hockey one only needs a lapse of a few seconds to change the teams fortunes from leading to losing or the other way around," said Shukri.
  In the second match, Malaysia were leading 2-0 before Australia came back and won.
  "We also need to be consistent in defence, and the midfield must also be alert enough to make sure the ball does not easily breach the middle.
  "We are working to tighten these areas, and even though the results do not favour us yet, I believe we will amend all these silly mistakes by the end of the Australian Tour," said Shukri.
  Van Huizen will select his final 18 for the Games at the end of the Tour.