Malaysia coach Tan Cheng Hoe has backed his proteges ahead of the second leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 final second leg but accepts that Harimau Malaya have a mountain to climb in Hanoi. The first leg, played in Kuala Lumpur, finished 2-2 with Vietnam scoring two important away goals.
Cheng Hoe stated that though things are tilted in Golden Dragons’ favour, his players are ‘motivated and confident’ ahead of the second leg.
“After the result from the first leg things are in Vietnam’s favour and, even though we have a mountain to climb, the players are very motivated and confident,” he said as quoted by AFF Suzuki Cup’s official website.
Malaysia will also be boosted by the return of Syahmi Safari, Syazwan Andik and Aidil Zafuan and the coach said that he will field the strongest XI he can for the all-important encounter.
Moreover, Cheng Hoe is wary of the support Vietnam will have at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi and wants his players to enjoy the atmosphere and not get intimidated by it.
“We know that the intensity will be high and I’ve asked my players to maintain focus and be aware of the quick counters from Vietnam. But also the players shouldn’t put too much pressure on themselves and just enjoy playing in the final here in Hanoi.
“I have faith in all my players. They are all motivated for tomorrow night’s match. Playing in front of the away fans is definitely different. But we have experienced it before and even got some good results.
“We must be focused and wary of their attacks. What is important, though, is that my players must learn to enjoy the game, soak in the atmosphere and play with no pressure.”