SINGAPORE – Malaysia’s newly appointed hockey consultant Neil Hagwood said he and coach Tai Beng Hai would need time to mould the players.
“I just arrived here two days ago and only saw the players in training twice. They are good. Regarding my status, Tai Beng Hai is the coach and I am here to help him.
“We are good…no ego issue here but all the people have to understand, we need time to boost the performance of the players,” he told reporters, here Friday.
Hagwood acknowledged that the Malaysian team were talented and have unique skills but the most important thing was how they are able to bring out their good performance and skills.
Meanwhile, Beng Hai said his main target for the team that will be playing in the Hockey World League second round tournament at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium was to qualify for the third round of the World League.
Malaysia face Ukraine in their first match today.
Beng Hai said Ukraine play just any other European team by packing the defence and use speed, height and reach to launch quick counter attacks.
“We cannot afford to lose the ball against them because it will be difficult to win the ball back because of the size, height and physical ability. We must top the tournament to have an easier draw in the third round,” he said.
The Malaysian were however, concerned with the condition of the pitch that dries up quickly, causing imbalance during play.
Skipper Muhammad Razie Abdul Rahim said the players were aware of the condition of the pitch since their arrival on Wednesday but hopes to adopt well to the situation during the match.
“Hawgood assisting in technical aspects and pointing out mistakes during our meeting,” he said. – Bernama