LIONSXII hat-trick hero Sufian aiming for consistency

Sufian Anuar may have been LIONSXII’s hat-trick hero in their 4-1 win over Pahang but he believes he still has plenty more to offer in the remainder of the Malaysia Super League season.

Despite entering the 2014 as defending champions of the Super League, the LIONSXII have had a difficult campaign so far having been plagued by inconsistency.

An impregnable fortress throughout last season, the Jalan Besar Stadium has failed to provide the Singaporean outfit with similar fortunes this year; Fandi Ahmad’s charges winning just three of their six home matches in the league.

Last Saturday, they fell to another shock defeat after being beaten 1-0 by Sime Darby, but got back to winning ways three days later with an emphatic 4-1 win over league leaders Pahang.

The scores were tied at 1-1 when Sufian was introduced by Fandi following an injury to Khairul Nizam, and the tireless striker went on to score a remarkable hat-trick in the final ten minutes of the match to earn his side all three points.

Having got off the mark with his first goals of the campaign, the ex-Warriors FC man is hoping to push on and continue contributing to his team on a regular basis.

“It’s been awhile coming,” he told Football SEA. “I feel very happy but also very humbled with the hat-trick.

“I hope this will be the start of me scoring goals consistently.

“There’s been a lot of criticism at the attackers given we haven’t scored as many goals as we would have liked, and there’s been a lot of pressure.

“But I hope after the win against Pahang, we will be able to perform consistently until the end of the campaign.”

More importantly for the LIONSXII, the victory over Tok Gajah has got their title defence back on track as they are now just four points off the top of the table in fifth place.

And although some of the Jalan Besar faithful have begun to turn on the LIONSXII this season, Sufian is hoping Tuesday’s victory will serve as a reminder as to his side’s true potential.

“I think we just needed a win to give back to the fans for all the support they have shown to us in the past,” he added.

“We could feel the fans were beginning to get frustrated and I’m just really, really happy with the win over Pahang.

“We have an important game against Selangor next and, like I said, I hope I can remain consistent with my performance. Right now, it’s a bit up and down.

“I hope everyone can continue giving me and the team support, hope and encouragement, instead of criticism.

“I may be turning 27 this year but as a footballer I’m still learning, and I hope I’m able to contribute to the team on a regular basis.”

The LIONSXII are next in action on Saturday when they visit the Shah Alam Stadium to take on Selangor.

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