KUALA LUMPUR – Young national striker Luqman Hakim Shamsudin aims to improve his finishing techniques to assist the national Under-23 Squad (U-23) in the U-23 Asian Cup Championship 2022 in Uzbekistan that willl be held from June 1 to 19.
The 20-year-old said he does not easily give up and would continue to show his best performance in the tournament and accept all criticisms that come his way from national football fans on his previous performances.
“I will try to improve in terms of finishing techniques that still need to be improved because I am sure everyone has their own weaknesses.
“There is still a lot (for me) to learn to become a better quality player, so I accept all the criticisms from local football fans so as to continue to improve,” he told reporters when met at the National Sports Council (MSN) field in Bukit Jalil, here, today.
On May 23, Luqman Hakim and Muhammad Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak who came in as substitutes in the second half of the 3rd/4th playoff match between Malaysia and Indonesia in the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, were the two players who failed to score in the penalty shootout to determine the winners of the bronze medal. Malaysia lost the penalty shoot out 3-4.
Luqman Hakim, who is based in Belgium with the KV Kortrijk club, said he was confident that all his teammates would be able to adapt to perform well despite having to face the colder weather in Uzbekistan just like they played in the last edition Mongolia.
Team captain Muhammad Mukhairi Ajmal Mahadi said he was confident that his teammates would work hard to do their best but hoped for the continued support of local football fans for the team under Brad Maloney.
“I think so far the players are in good condition because the coach gave a day off to spend time with the families, that has further inspired us to continue to do our best,” he said.
Meanwhile, National U-23 squad head coach Brad Maloney believes in the ability of his boys to excel in Uzbekistan.
The 50-year-old Australian coach said the experience of going through six matches in the 31st SEA Games can be useful to face tougher competition at Uzbekistan and believed that the players’ commitment and spirit can help them achieved great results.
The Harimau Muda have a challenging task ahead as they are drawn alongside defending champions South Korea in Group C.
Apart from South Korea, Malaysia also have to contend with regional powerhouse Thailand and 2018 runners-up Vietnam.