By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philipppine Daily Inquirer
The next match may be a few weeks away, but Philippine Azkals coach Michael Weiss insisted that it should not be a reason for several players not to show up or even slow down in training.
Weiss aired his concern following reports that several players from the first team have not been regularly showing up during the first week of training camp for the Long Teng Cup in Taiwan slated next month.
Weiss said he is not afraid to relegate players in the pecking order if they fail to correct their attitude.
“The concern is that once you start to rest, once you start to take a little more slower approach and once you think you have achieved something in football, its the first step to decline and a couple of players obviously do not understand that,” Weiss told the Inquirer.
Weiss, however, did not name the players.
The Azkals went on a month-long break after losing to Kuwait in the second round of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers last July 28. They are scheduled to leave for Bacolod tomorrow to undergo a week-long training camp until September 15.
The German coach stressed that training in preparation for matches should be a “daily bread” for players.
“I’ve seen players more on billboards coming from Alabang to the training. I see them on billboards more often than on the pitch,” said Weiss. “And here they are on clubs and wherever they are. If that is their major priority now, they have to do that. But they shouldn’t be surprised if they are not too high on the list of the coaching staff and the management.”
The Azkals face defending champion Hong Kong on September 28, before playing Chinese-Taipei and Macau on October 2 and 4. They are also scheduled to visit Singapore on October 6 for a friendly.