Azkals look to capitalise on home advantage

Philippines football team captain Phil Younghusband said the Azkals want to take full advantage of being hosts as they look to win their first ever regional championship title in the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup.

The former Chelsea youth player said the likely inclusion of several overseas-based players was likely to boost the Philippines squad and make them very competitive.

“Home advantage will be a big difference. I hope you all come so it will be intimidating for the other teams,” said Younghusband, addressing fans during the AFF trophy’s stop off in Manila during its tour of the region ahead of next week’s tournament.

The expected inclusion of Mike Ott of German club Nurnberg II, and striker Javier Patino of Henan Jianye in the Chinese Super League will give the Azkals a better chance of reaching the final.

“The players who are coming are real quality and real talented players so there’s no problem with gelling,” said Younghusband.

“Our first game is within a week’s time so preparations are being made to make sure we are in our best frame of mind for the tournament,” he added.

The Azkals skipper said the players realise how much a win would mean to the fans.

“They know how important the Suzuki Cup is and how much it means to the Philippines. They want to play and it’s nice to have them on board and try to win it,” he said.