Safuwan happy to play anywhere

About 25,000 fans cheered the Lions on throughout the 0-0 draw against Malaysia in the Causeway Challenge.
About 25,000 fans cheered the Lions on throughout the 0-0 draw against Malaysia in the Causeway Challenge.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE, ONG WEE JIN
Singapore caretaker coach V. Sundramoorthy passing instructions to captain Hariss Harun and Faris Ramli during a break in last night's game.
Singapore caretaker coach V. Sundramoorthy passing instructions to captain Hariss Harun and Faris Ramli during a break in last night's game.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE, ONG WEE JIN
A young fan caused a minor stir when he walked up to the Singapore national team players to take a wefie after the whistle.
A young fan caused a minor stir when he walked up to the Singapore national team players to take a wefie after the whistle.ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE, ONG WEE JIN

Versatile Lion gives much support up front but stresses need to attack & score as a team

Safuwan Baharudin has excelled as a defender and midfielder, and his versatility means that he can move further up the pitch too.

The lanky defender-turned-midfielder utilised his superior height and aerial prowess to support the Lions' attack last night, in particular assisting strikers Khairul Amri and his replacement Sahil Suhaimi in their 0-0 draw with Malaysia in the Causeway Challenge.

The PDRM player is comfortable in an offensive role, having been a striker during his Singapore Sports School days, even though Singapore eventually struggled to find the net, with Amri, Hariss Harun and Daniel Bennett each hitting the woodwork once. PDRM are the Malaysian police team and they play in the Malaysia Super League.

The utility player said: "It is not easy because I've been playing in so many positions in recent years.

"I'm still trying to give more options for myself."

While he feels that he can be an asset at the front in creating goal-scoring chances, he pointed out that applying the finishing touch for a goal is an area that the team, including himself, need to work on.

He said: "For today, we still need to work on the finishing touches before we head for the goal.

"We could have easily scored a goal once or twice during the game.

"Experimenting and trying out is one thing, but it is most important to deliver and score a goal as a team. It's not about experimenting any more, it's about giving the solution and delivering."

But even after all the experimenting in various roles, Safuwan, 25, refused to settle on a preferred position. He said: "Whichever position I am required to play in, I will do my best in that role. I have to think about the team, if things are not going well for the team at that point in time, then I have to (fit that role)."

The Lions dominated the proceedings but the Malaysian defence stood firm against the waves of attacks.

V. Sundramoorthy's team were facing a new-look Malaysia side, who were still rebuilding following the retirements of key players S. Kunanlan, Amirulhadi Zainal, Aidil Zafuan and former captain Safiq Rahim, the top scorer in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup.

Safuwan said: "We played good football, but I think both parties were too cautious. We created so many chances but we didn't score."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 08, 2016, with the headline 'Safuwan happy to play anywhere'. Print Edition | Subscribe