Uzbekistan striker Maksim Shatskikh has sounded a note of concern about the pitch at the Shah Alam Stadium as the central Asian side prepare to face China in a crunch AFC Asian Cup Group C encounter on Wednesday.
The Dynamo Kiev star was less than happy about the bumpy condition of the surface at the 80,000-seat stadium, located about 25 kilometres west of Kuala Lumpur, after training there with his teammates for 45 minutes on Tuesday evening.
"It’s a nice stadium but the pitch is not in good condition," said the 28-year-old Uzbek skipper, who scored twice in the 5-0 trouncing of Malaysia on Saturday.
"The other field (at Bukit Jalil National Stadium) was very nice to play on but I felt that the pitch tonight was bumpy and not very good when I trained on it."
Despite his concerns about the surface, Shatskikh appears to have adapted better to the humid climate after a week in Malaysia and is confident that his side can overcome the Chinese on Wednesday and reach the knockout stage of the Asian Cup for a second consecutive time.
"I have enough motivation for an important match like this. Of course the climate is very hard but both teams have to play in it and I think that we are used to playing in such conditions now.
"Maybe the fact that the match is being played at a later time than our earlier games might benefit some of the other players but I feel well prepared so it doesn’t too much to me what time we play."
Uzbekistan must beat China to ensure themselves of a top-two place in Group and a spot in the quarter-finals of the Asian Cup.