U-23 players feeling impact of criticism towards Harimau Malaya

KUALA LUMPUR: The myriad of criticisms against the national football team following their dismal performance at the AFF Suzuki Cup in Singapore last month has somehow impacted the national Under-23 team, also known as Harimau Muda.

In fact, coach Brad Maloney’s boys are now at risk of suffering the same fate if they fail to perform at the upcoming AFF Under-23 Championship and Under-23 Asia Cup.

Terengganu 11 striker Mohd Nur Azfar Fikri Azhar, for one, admitted that he was also affected by the various negative reactions and extreme criticism thrown at the Harimau Malaya team on social media.

“We try to stay positive,” said Azfar after the first day of their centralised training camp at the PKNS Sports Complex yesterday.

“When the supporters criticise us, we just respond with a victory. If we emerge as winners, there will be no criticism.”

The 22-year-old player, however, hoped that the fans would also offer some positive words and morale boosters for the squad members rather than being too emotional in their comments.

Sharing a similar sentiment was Johor Darul Ta’zim striker Mohd Alif Abdul Mutalib, who described that all forms of extreme criticism would not bring any good to the players and the team.

“I view them all positively. We can only do our best to win every match. We hope our fans will continue to support us to gain victory,” he added.

The players are in preparation for the AFF Under-23 meet in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from Feb 14-26. — Bernama

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Football

Soccer-'No better way to say goodbye than Scudetto': Kessie to leave AC Milan
Soccer-Liverpool parade timing jars with Heysel victim's son
Soccer-Weir to leave Man City women amid Real Madrid links
Soccer-FA not taking action against Vieira for fan altercation at Everton
Soccer-Thiago could be fit for Champions League final - Klopp
Soccer-Ibrahimovic out until 2023 after knee surgery - AC Milan
Soccer-Salah says he will be with Liverpool next season
Soccer-Chelsea's Hayes named WSL Manager of the Season
Soccer-Old Australia team mates duel in coaches box for A-League title
Soccer-Playing in closed stadiums an 'embarrassment', says England manager Southgate

Others Also Read