MSL win has alleviated the pressure on the Singapore-based side.
Lions XII coach V. Sundramoorthy insists his players are unfazed by the expectations on their shoulders in the Malaysia Cup.
The Malaysia Super League champions are one of the favourites to lift the trophy in November and begin their campaign on Tuesday Premier League side Kedah FA at the Jalan Besar Stadium – a venue they were unbeaten at during the 2013 league season.
As a result Sundramoorthy doesn’t believe his players are susceptible to the pressure placed on them to win the tournament and feels their relaxed state of mind should be viewed as a strength as opposed to a weakness.
“There’s less pressure because we won the league; by winning the league, the boys are more relaxed and when you are relaxed, you work hard and I think there’s a chance of [us] doing well,” he told Goal Singapore.
Alongside the Lions in Group D a are Premier League champions Sarawak FA and fellow MSL side Perak FA with Sundramoorthy aware that teams will be out to beat the Lions given the fierce rivalry between Malaysia and Singapore.
“It’s always tough, the Malaysia Cup [because] it’s a traditional tournament and I believe the Malaysian teams will really gear up to perform against us,” the former international added.
“We must be at our best and play at our best to get something out of the tournament.”