Yoshida: 7-1 loss to Morocco ‘A’ won’t affect Lions’ confidence, Latest Singapore Football News - The New Paper
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Yoshida: 7-1 loss to Morocco ‘A’ won’t affect Lions’ confidence

Lions coach Tatsuma Yoshida has struck a defiant note despite the fact that the team's 10-day training camp in Dubai ended in a 7-1 thumping by Morocco "A" in a training match on Tuesday.

The result means the team will head into the Dec 5-Jan 1 AFF Suzuki Cup on the back of a six-game winless run, which includes five straight defeats.

The trip to the Gulf also saw them lose 2-1 to 10-man Kyrgyzstan in an international friendly last Thursday. They will not be playing any more warm-up matches ahead of their Suzuki Cup opener against Myanmar on Dec 5.

But Yoshida played down the impact of the loss and quashed talk of low morale in the team.

When asked how much of an impact the scoreline would have on his players' confidence, he said: "Zero per cent. Because the boys understand the quality of the opponent. We have to accept it.

"But in the Suzuki Cup, it will be a different competition and opponents. We don't need to worry about this result. We have to stay calm. I have confidence in these boys."

The Japanese noted that Morocco 'A' "is probably the toughest opponent we have faced since I took charge".

Morocco are ranked 29th in the world and their "A" team, who comprise mostly players who feature in their domestic league, are unbeaten in 29 matches since 2017.

The Lions were without Safuwan Baharudin, Irfan Fandi and Zulfahmi Arifin, who had returned to their clubs.

Yoshida made five changes to the team that started in the loss to Kyrgyzstan, with Jacob Mahler, Ikhsan Fandi, Iqram Rifqi, Izwan Mahbud and Zulqarnaen Suzliman coming into the starting XI.

He insisted that there was still time for his side, who are ranked 160th in the world, to improve ahead of their opening game, which is just 17 days away. - DEEPANRAJ GANESAN


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