Amri: Singapore have improved

Consadole Sapporo draw 0-0 against Gamba Osaka in J-League

Veteran Singapore striker Khairul Amri says the team has learned from their early exit at the 2014 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup.

The Lions were dumped out in the opening stage of the Association of South East Asian Nations tournament, after finishing third in Group B following losses to Thailand and Malaysia and a solitary win over Myanmar.

Amri, who has 101 caps for the Lions, says his team mates now understand each other better and can play as a unit.

"During the Suzuki Cup, we didn't understand each other well enough but since then, we have improved a lot and there is a sense of camaraderie now, where we don't want to let each other down,” he told the New Paper.

"I feel we are a closer and more united team now. We communicate well, and we talk about tactical stuff like positioning and combinations among ourselves. There is that desire and willingness.”

Singapore have just two games left in their 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifying campaign – against Afghanistan and Cambodia.

Both matches will take place at the new National Stadium, where none of the players have set foot since the turf was resurfaced.

Amri, 30, said the team would need to spend more time on the new pitch in order to become familiar with it.

"We need to play in the new stadium more often. Playing on a new pitch is like making a new friend. You need to spend more time to get to know it better," he said.

His view was echoed by midfielder and stand-in captain Hariss Harun, who called for more training sessions at the stadium ahead of the Afghanistan and Cambodia games in October.

"We need to be more familiar with the pitch than our opponents, so that we can truly call it a home ground advantage,” he said.

"This means giving us enough time to prepare at the National Stadium, and not just one or two days before the matches. Everyone has to pull together in one direction."