After shooting blanks in Singapore's last two football friendlies, Singapore national caretaker coach V. Sundramoorthy has summoned more firepower in his 28-man squad for a training tour of Qatar.
He has called up attacking midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman of Tampines Rovers, who is back after suffering a hairline fracture in his right fibula in July, as well as Geylang International striker Shahfiq Ghani.
The creativity of Shahdan and Shafiq's long-range shooting could provide solutions, after the Lions drew 0-0 with Malaysia and lost 0-2 to Hong Kong last month, in the build-up to the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which starts on Nov 19.
Shahdan, 28, is eager to nail down a spot in the 23-player AFF Cup team, saying: "I'm delighted to be back. If coach is looking to play a more attacking game, I definitely can contribute towards that. It's kind of frustrating to be out because of injury.
"The next two weeks are very important for all of us because it will determine whether or not we make the team for Suzuki Cup."
Singapore squad for Qatar tour
Hassan Sunny, Izwan Mahbud, Syazwan Buhari, Zaiful Nizam
Baihakki Khaizan, Daniel Bennett, Irfan Fandi, Juma'at Jantan, Madhu Mohana, Afiq Yunos, Faritz Hameed, Hafiz Sujad, Shakir Hamzah, Mustafic Fahrudin
Anumanthan Kumar, Hariss Harun, Shahril Ishak, Faris Ramli, Izzdin Shafiq , Safuwan Baharudin, Shawal Anuar, Yasir Hanapi, Gabriel Quak, Shahdan Sulaiman
Sahil Suhaimi, Iqbal Hussain, Khairul Amri, Shahfiq Ghani
Tomorrow, the Lions will travel to Qatar, where they will play two matches before returning on Sunday. The opponents have yet to be confirmed.
After the training tour, they will play two more friendlies, against Syria in Negeri Sembilan on Nov 9 and Cambodia at Bishan Stadium on Nov 13.
Sundram said: "We've experimented with different playing formations and styles, and also gave opportunities to many players to prove themselves at the international level to be included in the final 23-man squad for the competition.
"The opponents in our upcoming friendlies are strong in different aspects, and they will provide a good test for our boys."
Singapore have been grouped with co-hosts Philippines, champions Thailand and Indonesia in the AFF Suzuki Cup's round-robin phase.