Roar, Lions, roar
With their current attitude, Class of 2016 are in danger of a harrowing experience in Manila
Most football fans are eternal optimists ahead of a new campaign, even those who are behind weak sides.
They pray, they cross fingers, they resurrect old winning rituals.
They believe their favourites will run themselves ragged for the cause, they sense upsets, they are convinced the few star names in their team will live up to their billing, they hope Lady Luck takes a shine to their footballers.
I believe the Singapore squad that will do battle at this year's AFF Suzuki Cup are one of the weakest in the history of the country's participation in the tournament.
Like all fans of the Lions, I just hope they will run themselves to the ground, starting on Saturday when they open their Group A campaign against hosts the Philippines.
Even then it may not be enough, but at least V Sundramoorthy's men would have shown they care.
The attitude of the team must be right for Singapore to stand a chance of meeting the target of a semi-final spot but, when Safuwan Baharudin says he needs a break to rest tired limbs and his mind, you wonder.
Safuwan is one of three big names in Sundram's squad.
Along with midfield star Hariss Harun and goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, he needs to have the tournament of his life for the Lions to upset the formbook.
But, a little less than a week before kick-off, he moaned, citing fatigue after a campaign in the Malaysian Super League with PDRM.
He's 25, and should be excited at the prospect of duelling with the best in the region, but his comments after Sunday's 1-0 win over Cambodia suggested otherwise.
In 2012, Safuwan's displays at the heart of the Singapore defence raised the prospect that he could even go on to be a libero in the mould of the great Malaysian Soh Chin Aun, as the Lions stormed to what was then a record fourth Asean crown.
These days, he's being shuffled from midfield to attack and is a shadow of the footballer he was only four years ago.
Even this late, Sundram needs to do the right thing and fit Safuwan back into his best position.
And like the rest of us, cross his fingers and hope he knuckles down and works his socks off, while striker Sahil Suhaimi plays for the flag on his chest.
Just two years ago, Sahil kept himself busy showing off unerring finishing skills for the Young Lions in the S.League.
At the time 22, his striking instincts suggested he would eventually be a regular in the national team.
In a tale that is becoming so familiar, discipline and focus were then lost, with a number of coaches and teammates tearing their hair out over his lackadaisical approach to the game.
Of late, though, the Geylang International forward is showing some signs of life.
If the attitude is right, Sahil could be the joker in Sundram's pack, especially when the team are struggling for goals.
When Singapore hosted the Suzuki Cup two years ago, the Lions were reigning champions and players like Shahril Ishak, Khairul Amri and Baihakki Khaizan were at their peak age.
Forward to today and captain Shahril is 32 now and he has slowed considerably and hardly figures, except as a substitute.
Defender Baihakki, also 32, was shockingly poor against Cambodia and was hauled off after only 23 minutes and, while Sundram said publicly his player was ill, I wouldn't be surprised if the coach was trying to protect his player.
Amri is a good striker but, after a number of injuries over the years, he could struggle to last the pace in such a tournament setting where the games come thick and fast.
The Class of 2014 were unlucky to lose to a multi-talented Thailand side 2-1 in an opening group-stage clash and didn't deserve to miss the semi-finals.
Worryingly, this year's team are not as good as the one from two years ago.
A 26-man squad will leave this evening for Manila and Sundram will trim it to 23 before the Philippines opener.
Crucially, a number of players are short of technical ability and fitness.
There is no one in the group equipped with the kind of individual brilliance that will make opponents take special notice before a match.
Most importantly, the attitude of a number of players calls into question their professionalism.
Drawn in a group featuring Thailand, Indonesia and the co-hosts, the Lions have shown nothing in the build-up to suggest they will make it out of the opening stage.
They need captain Hariss to dominate, Hassan to be a star and Safuwan to be his old self.
And the Lions need to show courage, determination and the will to give it their all.
These hard truths probably won't be good enough, but it will make their coach, and the rest of their considerable following, proud.