The president of Malaysia’s football association (FAM) has said firing head coach Nelo Vingada is not an option and that he will be given time to get things right.
Malaysia lost their fourth game out of five under their new coach on Tuesday as they went down to a 2-0 defeat against Hong Kong in an AFC Asian Cup qualifier.
FAM President the Crown Prince of Johor, also known as TMJ, said that it would be unfair to get rid of the veteran Portuguese coach so quickly. He has been in the position since May.
“It is not fair if we want to change Vingada now. I have to give the team time, and I have to give him what he needs,” TMJ said on Wednesday.
“But we cannot expect changes to occur in such a short time. Even if I changed the coach to a local coach, we will not get immediate results.”
Captain Safiq Rahim was sent off in the first half of Tuesday’s defeat for a stamp, but TMJ said that Safiq shouldn’t take all the blame.
“Safiq wasn’t the only one playing, so we can’t blame him alone. But I also feel that some players in the national team shouldn’t be there. We shouldn’t keep picking these players,” TMJ added.
Starting to fear that Vingada might not win a single game in his entire Malaysia career.
— Dandelion Biru (@dandbiru) October 10, 2017
Has any HM coach had a worse start than Vingada?
— Dr. Iqbal Rizal (@DrIqbalENT) October 10, 2017
Malaysia have just one point from nine after three games, but still have an outside chance of qualifying.
But with tough ties against North Korea (home and away) and Lebanon away, Vingada faces a real challenge.
Still, the former Portugal coach insists he won’t give up in the battle to qualify for the tournament, due to be held in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.
“I do not give up, I’m very optimistic and realistic. When I was coach of Saudi Arabia and Portugal, I was at a different level,” Vingada said.
“I believe in my staff and players and they know who I am. I can go anytime and still keep my head up because I am giving my best.”