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Safawi ready to fight to impress Morais despite circumstantial disadvantage

Goal.com logo Goal.com 24-06-2017

It will be a completely new surrounding when Safawi Rasid finally returns to the Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) fold after his sojourn with the national Under-22 squad. His last appearance for the Southern Tigers came during the AFC Cup match against Ceres-Negros FC in the middle of May and could potentially only feature for them again towards the end of September.

This is due to his involvement with the U22 squad that will participate in the AFC U-23 Championship qualifier in Bangkok in July as well as the South-East Asian (SEA) Games in August with two separate long camps leading up to those respective tournaments.

Establishing himself as one of the key players for Datuk Ong Kim Swee, Safawi is likely to be named in the final squads for both tournaments, thus making him ineligible for JDT - which could see him missing out up to 12 matches in the Super League as well as the Malaysia Cup.

Having left his club side for national duty, Safawi will return under a new head coach at JDT after Ulisses Morais has been unfurled to replace Benjamin Mora. The 20-year-old is under no illusion as to the task that awaits him - with a chance to impress Morais, two months later than his other team mates.

Safawi knows that he can only work as hard as possible when he eventually return to club duties and hope that Morais will spare a keen eye on his involvement with the national side - to ensure that he remains firmly part of JDT's plans for the remaining portion of the 2017 season.

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"It feels like opening a new book. I will have to fight all over again and hopefully my chances will come."

"TMJ [HRH Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim] is good at picking the right coach and I'm confident that this confident that this new coach can help us in our pursuit of the two remaining trophies for us, having let slip in two other competitions," said Safawi.

Having made only five starts for the reigning Super League champions since his move from T-Team, Safawi will have no choice but to take the situation in his stride.

With Morais likely to parade Mohammed Ghaddar, Gabriel Guerra and Gonzalo Cabrera as his preferred front three selection, the onus will be on Safawi to show in the two upcoming tournaments that he has what it takes to make the Portuguese coach change his mind.

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