The violence in Lahad Daru, a town in the east of Sabah, where six policemen have been killed by Sulu intruders has cast a dark shadow over Malaysia in the past couple of days.
McCreery however is certain that Sabah FA, currently eighth in the Malaysian Premier League, will be the beacon of light that its people need.
"I've only been here six months ago. This happened out of the blue," the Northern Irishman, who spent two years with the Magway FC in the Myanmar Football League, told FOX SPORTS.
"We are aware of the military presence but nothing has affected our trainings or our daily routine," he added.
"We have a couple of players from Lahad Datu and I know that they are affected, but they never let it show.
"I am very sure that they will use this issue to further motivate themselves in the hope that it brings a bit of joy to their people who are going through a rough patch - through football.
The Sabahawks will meet Sarawak in the Borneo derby on Friday, a traditional rivalry that spans decades.
"I know their coach, Robert Alberts, and am aware of his team's capability.
"Like all other derbies, it will be heated and high in emotions, more so now.
"Sabah has the players and talent to achieve anything, all that my players need to do is apply themselves and focus. We went to Kuala Lumpur, a place we rarely win in, for a match against PDRM and came back from behind to score three goals - it was amazing!"
"It proves that Sabah are fully capable of doing it - like how we defeated the Super League team Felda United in the FA Cup a couple of weeks ago."
"Malaysian football is on the up and I will try my best to help Sabah."
McCreery started his career as a midfielder playing for Manchester United from 1974-1979 before making his way through ten other clubs including Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United.
The 55-year-old will attempt to guide his team back to the Super League after joining them post-relegation at the start of this season.