Azkals player Phil Younghusband
MANILA -- Filipino-British striker Phil Younghusband is hoping the performance of the Azkals will not be affected by the controversial resignation of players Stephan Schröck and Dennis Cagara last week.
In an interview aired on "The Buzz" on Sunday, Younghusband admitted that the situation is tough for him.
Last week, Azkals coach Thomas Dooley vowed never to let Schröck play for the Philippine national team following their bitter feud that spilled to social media sites.
Dooley also maintained that he didn’t kick out Schröck, Neil Etheridge and Cagara from the Azkals.
"It’s a difficult situation with the coach," Younghusband told "The Buzz. "You have to respect the coach and they’re my friends, so I’m caught in between."
Schröck earlier said he was unwelcome under Dooley and that he felt “disrespected” when some of his team mates were left out for the upcoming Peace Cup.
“Coach Dooley, he wants to go another way. He wants to build up the team without people from Europe or Filipino foreigners or whatever. I don't feel welcome,” Schröck said. “That's the reason why I'm taking a break, resigning or whatever you want to call it.”
“It was kind of he was not respecting me and my team members for what we did for the country,” said the German-Filipino.
Meanwhile, Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Nonong Araneta said they respect the decision of Cagara and Schröck to leave the team but stressed that they are supporting the decision of Dooley and team manager Dan Palami.
The Philippine Azkals are scheduled to defend their crown against a set of formidable teams in the third edition of the Philippine Peace Cup.
The tournament, which will take place on September 1-9 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, will help the national team prepare for the more-competitive 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup in November.
Younghusband hopes the recent controversy will not affect the team's performance on the field.
"Sana the issue is resolved internally and ang pinaka-importante is, we don’t let the issues off the field affect the on the field performance," he said.