SINGAPORE – Malaysian coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee hopes the national team can play ‘much better’ in the Causeway Challenge tomorrow.
“The players know their responsibility. Hope they would play as how they played against Timor Leste,” he said at a pre-match press conference held here today.
In June, Malaysia defeated Timor Leste to seal a place in the 24-team 2019 Asian Cup qualifying group stage next year.
The 65th clash between Malaysia and Singapore will take place at the National Stadium from 8.30pm.
“Definitely it is going to be an interesting game. Both teams are preparing for the AFF Suzuki Cup. Hope both teams will benefit from this game. We are looking at good result. The objective is to prepare for the Suzuki Cup,” Kim Swee said.
The Causeway Challenge is held six weeks ahead of Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup which kicks off on Nov 19.
Kim Swee said the national squad which comprised a blend of ‘young boys’ and ‘new faces’ are eager to impress him.
“Hope tomorrow they will prove something. With a lot of changes.. it will require a little time to blend together,” he said.
The Tigers and the Lions had begun their training for the game, yesterday.
The Malaysian team will have the final opportunity to ‘test the grass’ of the National Stadium for an hour from 6pm today.
Meanwhile, Malaysian captain Amri Yahyah hoped his teammates would give their full commitment in the game.
“I urge them to be calm. All the players are young..eager to play. I hope they will contribute something to the team tomorrow. Maybe a win. Singapore did not lose against Japan and we should give them due respect,” he said.
Statistics show that from 64 previous meetings, Malaysia has won 22 times and Singapore 19 times while 23 other editions ended up in a draw.
The last time Singapore faced Malaysia was at the AFF Suzuki Cup in November 2014 when Malaysia triumphed 3-1 at the National Stadium. – BERNAMA