BURIRAM – Nelo Vingada has acknowledged that the long-postponed Asian Cup Qualifier matches against North Korea this Friday and next Monday may not be at the most convenient time for his players after enduring a long and tiring domestic season.
Despite that, the national head coach still aims for a win against the higher-ranking North Koreans.
“The games were suspended three times and now finally, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) will hold the matches on neutral ground. For one game it’s OK, but two games for both teams at the end of the season is not at the most convenient time.
“I agree it has come to the end of the season and the JDT players also played in the Malaysia Cup final, so maybe it’s not the right time (for the matches), but there is no other option. So let’s do it,” said the Portuguese to Bernama when met after a training session at Buriram Stadium today.
The Harimau Malaya team arrived in Buriram, 312 km from Bangkok, yesterday and held their first training session today. They are scheduled to hold their official training at the venue of the matches, i-mobile Stadium tomorrow evening.
According to Vingada, they have put in place a plan in facing the North Koreans to eventually grind favourable results for the national team.
“Our plan is to respect the North Koreans but the option is only for a win. I believe in the organisation and motivation of my players,” he said.
The Malaysia-North Korea matches had been postponed for almost nine months since March this year following deteriorating diplomatic relations between the two countries after the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, at klia2 in February.
The matches were also postponed because of heightening tensions in the Korean Peninsula following the launching of missiles by the North Korean regime. – BERNAMA