Madhu, Faritz set for the chop
With just days to go to the Suzuki Cup, teams like Malaysia and the Philippines have confirmed their 22-man squads.
Singapore football coach Bernd Stange told The New Paper last night he would prefer to do so only at the team managers' meeting a day before the Lions' opening Group B match against Thailand on Sunday, "just in case something happens to the players".
Sources say the two players who are most vulnerable in the current 24-man squad are right backs Faritz Abdul Hameed and Madhu Mohana, both of whom played a part in the Young Lions' bronze-medal outing at the SEA Games last year.
Both defenders were not called up for friendlies against Hong Kong and Macau after battling back from knee and hamstring injuries, respectively.
In the last three friendlies against Bahrain, Laos and Cambodia, only Faritz had a 17-minute cameo in the 2-0 defeat in Manama.
Citing the fact that both players last played a full competitive matches more than two months ago, Stange said: "Faritz is a player I like, overlapping on the wings but it's very risky to use players who are not match-fit."
But Stange maintained he would not name his final squad of 22, yet, and Madhu said: "I'll be very disappointed to miss out because I have worked very hard to get back to full fitness.
"But how can I get match fitness if I do not get the chance to play in the friendly matches and prove myself?"
PROBABLE SINGAPORE SUZUKI CUP SQUAD
- Goalkeepers: Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud
- Defenders: Ismadi Mukhtar, Al-Qaasimy Abdul Rahman, Baihakki Khaizan, Safuwan Baharudin, Afiq Yunos, Amirul Adli, Shaiful Esah, Shakir Hamzah
- Midfielders: Faris Ramli, Gabriel Quak, Hariss Harun, Shahdan Sulaiman, Zulfahmi Arifin, Hafiz Abu Sujad
- Forwards: Shahril Ishak, Khairul Amri, Fazrul Nawaz, Sahil Suhaimi, Shahfiq Ghani, Khairul Nizam