Transforming the Philippine Azkals into a more well-oiled, attack-minded side will take time.
Speaking after the 2-2 draw with Suzuki Cup finalist Indonesia Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Azkals coach Michael Weiss appealed for patience, saying that changing the Azkals’ playing style will take at least three years.
The Azkals, parading their strongest squad in years, dominated possession for long periods, but needed to come back from a goal down twice to salvage the draw against an Indonesian team considered weaker compared to the one they faced in the Suzuki Cup two years ago.
“When I came here, I thought it would be quicker,” said Weiss, who has been at the helm since January 2011. “We have big potential offensively and it’s just a matter of time that we will play stronger together.”
The Azkals’ attack hardly showed bite in the opening half, before Phil and James Younghusband came in at halftime to give the team some needed boost going forward in the match watched by Manchester United defender and England international Chris Smalling, who arrived to support close friend and Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
“I see this not solely as a result,” said Weiss. “I see it based on performance of the team and spirit especially with players coming in and out of the lineup.”