PETALING JAYA: The manager of the national hockey squad, Arul Selvaraj wants the main striker, Faizal Saari to get the touch that has been disappearing for a long time to ensure that Malaysia does not lose its eye in the World Cup in Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, India next January 13 to 29.
Faizal failed to show his fangs in the Cup of Nations in Potchefstroom, South Africa earlier this month.
Out of the eight goals produced by the national team at the tournament, Faizal only scored one goal when facing Japan in the group stage.
Faizal had previously created a sensation as the top scorer in several major tournaments including the 2017 Asian Cup, 2015 World Hockey League, 2013 Asian Champions Trophy and the 2013 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup.
“He needs to get up, he hasn’t played well for us for a long time.
“He did not play in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, even his performance in the Nations Cup was not convincing.
“I will talk to him about this matter, he was selected for the World Cup not only for himself, but to lead the team because this is the time for Faizal to take on the responsibility of taking Malaysia to the next level.
“So far he has only relied on big names, and I am not interested in such things, this is a message for Faizal to shoulder the responsibility together and show the best performance in the team,” explained Arul.
At the same time, Arul admitted that Faizal has changed a lot in a positive direction after 10 months at the Dutch club, ZSV Schaerweijde.
However, he demanded Faizal to contribute more to the national squad.
“He is a good player but I think he has to improve his game quality because he is not consistent at times.
“I don’t choose players based on names, so he needs to understand that we have invested a lot of time and energy in him,” added Arul.
Malaysia had a relatively balanced journey at the World Cup when it was placed in Group C with Chile, New Zealand, and three-time world champions, the Netherlands.
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