The former Malaysian striker reminds critics that the national team are on an upward trajectory and that every effort should be made to support, not condemn.
In his glory, Azman was one of the region’s most feared strikers and with him in the camp, Malaysia was able to reach a historic high of 75th in the FIFA rankings in 1993.
Over the years, there has been a gradual deterioration in the quality of the national team which has seen the Harimau Malaya slipped to 178th place.
Still, Azman strongly believes the current crop is on track after reaching the AFF Championship final in 2018 and is in a prime position in the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Speaking to the Malaysian Football Association (FAM), Azman took the opportunity to offer a rebuttal to Kelantan FC owner Norizam Turkiman, who has criticized FAM for a poor national team in recent times.
“It is better not to divert the subject to another issue like the national team when the dispute is between two bodies or with the governing body.
“You just have to prove yourself by making your team or club the league title first and producing good players for Malaysia, mainly taking care of the things that are your responsibility.
“What’s important is that over the past two to three years the national team’s ranking has dropped from 178 to 153 in a short period of time.
“All of this, I believe, is a satisfying effort and if everyone pulls in the same direction we can lift ourselves even higher,” Azman told FAM.
Under Tan Cheng Hoe and with a good number of players to choose from, Malaysia has proven that it can beat Southeast Asian superpower Thailand and even scared the UAE in recent past matches.
With the majority of the base players in the correct age bracket, there is cause for optimism again on the national team, far from the suggestion provided by Norizam.