Hariss Harun on-board with new system for Asian Cup qualifying
Vice-captain Hariss Harun believes Singapore are shaping up nicely with a new formation as they look ahead to Tuesday night's crucial Asian Cup 2019 qualifier against Turkmenistan.
Coach V. Sundramoorthy is likely to stick with the 3-4-3 system for their second game in five days at Jalan Besar Stadium.
The Lions gave a good account of themselves, with improved combinations, with a 1-1 comeback draw against Hong Kong in a friendly last Thursday.
If they had taken their chances, they would have beaten the East Asians for the first time since 2012.
That was something not lost on Hariss as the Lions go in search of the three points against Turkmenistan -- 30 places above them at 141 in the FIFA rankings -- to revive their Asian Cup qualifying campaign.
Sundram's side are bottom of Group E after collecting just one point from two games.
"One important part of the Hong Kong game was that every single player on the field understood their roles," Hariss said.
"Given that it's a new system which we have never played before, we did well to understand the tactical part. Whatever's best for the team, we try to engage, take in and adapt as much as we can.
"You can see we created enough chances to win that game. Of course there's always room for improvement and we need to improve on putting away the chances.
"We can talk about everything else, but the most important thing is to go out and take the points against Turkmenistan.
While acknowledging his side's much-improved display the last time out, Sundramoorthy hinted that he could still make a couple of personnel changes to his starting eleven.
Faritz Hameed has been recalled after recovering from a knock and could take the place of Emmeric Ong at right-wing back.
Meanwhile, Safuwan Baharudin could be reinstated after coming off the bench to score the equalising penalty against Hong Kong.
"I mean there could be some changes, but more or less we need to be going forward -- to try to attack and score goals," said Sundram, who has come under flak for his perceived negative tactics.
"I looked at the strengths of the team and what we have (to decide on a new formation). We have tall centre-backs in Irfan [Fandi], Daniel [Bennett] and Madhu [Mohana] who can stay behind.
"We can still use Nazrul and Faritz as wing-backs. There are good midfield players in Hariss [Harun] and Izzdin [Shafiq]. We can also use Faris Ramli, Safuwan and [Khairul] Amri in attack. We have more balance in this formation to move forward.
"Turkmenistan's physically very strong. But with the fans turning up at Jalan Besar and the boy being motivated, anything is possible. We should go out there and be ready to battle."
Kenneth Tan is a Singapore-based football writer on S.League and AFC Cup for ESPN FC and FourFourTwo. Twitter: @KennerveT