Singapore's Khairul Nizam vows to mend 'lazy' ways on international recall
Home United forward Khairul Nizam admits that he was once lazy and hot-headed, but is determined to make the most of his international recall.
Nizam is in the frame to see game time for Singapore in Thursday night's friendly against Afghanistan in Doha or next Tuesday's 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier away to Bahrain.
He's made the squad on the back of a goal and four assists in five appearances for Home United this season.
"I had a hot temper, I was lazy and just went with the flow," Nizam told the New Paper.
"But I thought about how I am turning 26 this year, I am no longer a young player and I cannot go on like this anymore. If I continue with my bad habits, I will get nowhere."
Nizam's erratic career has been plagued by injury. The younger brother of Khairul Amri, he missed last year's AFF Suzuki Cup with a knee problem.
He concedes that he didn't expect to back in the Singapore squad so soon, having never found the back of the net in a competitive game for his country.
"I'm happy with the call-up, but also surprised as I thought the national coach would not call me up anymore because I was too injury-prone," he said.
"So, I just focused on enjoying club football, and this is really a bonus.
"I know I have not scored for the national team yet. It could be a lack of luck, playing time or because I didn't work hard before."
After seeing Singapore produce a solitary goal in three 2016 Suzuki Cup matches, national coach V. Sundramoorthy is desperate for potent attacking players.
"We can all see that [Nizam] is more focused in the way he approaches training sessions, whereas previously he was more playful," Sundarmoorthy said.
"As he ages, he knows that football is his bread and butter, and he has to take it more seriously.
"There are not many target men in Singapore football, so I hope he keeps his form and fitness and transfers it onto the international scene."
Nizam has earned 16 caps since making his international debut in 2010 as an 18-year-old.
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