Undeterred, Akram focuses on Jakarta


JAKARTA • National midfielder Muhammad Akram Mahinan (right) said critics cannot undermine his preparations for the Group G opening match of the second round 2022 World Cup/2023 Asia Cup 2023 qualifier against Indonesia today.

Despite the negative remarks made by Malaysian supporters, the PKNS FC player is highly motivated and committed to helping the team to win if he is fielded at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

According to Muhammad Akram, he tried to meet the tactical demands of head coach Tan Cheng Hoe every time he was called up to don the national team jersey.

“I’m used to all the critics…I just have to focus on my game and have to work hard to contribute something to the team. I am always ready.

“The most important thing that I want is three points to bring back to Malaysia,” said the 26-year-old when met after his training session at Gelora Bung Karno Football Pitch A in Jakarta yesterday.

The former Johor Darul Ta’zim player noted that the pressure has always been there, but he and his teammates have their own way of dealing with it.

“We are physically and mentally ready to face Indonesia. That nervousness is something that I would never deny.

“But we are trying to turn it into excitement because we want to have a positive result here,” he added.

For the record, the national team lost 0-3 to the Garuda squad in a friendly match at the Manahan Solo Stadium, Indonesia in September 2016.