Malaysia head coach Tan Cheng Hoe will turn his attention to Keisuke Honda-led Cambodia ahead of the friendly on Monday, as he aims to galvanize his men in the wake of the 2-0 loss to Chinese Taipei on Friday.
“It’s important for my players to be injury free, and be motivated for the Cambodia match. I know they are a little down after losing to Chinese Taipei, and we have another match in just a few days against Cambodia,” said Tan.
“Cambodia will be motivated with the arrival of Keisuke Honda too, but I think my players have done well and we hope to maintain the same tempo.”
Malaysia will need to recover quickly after failing to impress against Chinese Taipei.
They looked shorn of attacking ideas, and the water-logged pitch at Taipiei Municipal Stadium did not help at all.
Tan said his players couldn’t do much on the heavy pitch.
“We lost due to our mistakes. But we also couldn’t play our normal game because of the pitch. In Malaysia sometimes the pitch are water-logged too, but is in better condition than the one we played on.”
“We had to change from playing short passes to long balls in the second half, but failed to score. Congratulations to Chinese Taipei who played well for the win.”
Tan may also be looking to reshuffle his squad ahead of the Cambodia friendly at Phnom Penh Olympic Stadium.
Akhyar Rashid injected more flair and pace to the Malaysians after coming on in the second half, and Tan may look to start the teenager to make an impact.
Shahrel Fikri could also replace Zaquan Adha as the lone striker, while R. Kogileswaran could also be drafted into the first 11.
Malaysia are seeking a third victory in 2018 to boost their 171st ranking.
Photo Credit: FAM