JOHOR BAHRU – National team head coach Nelo Vingada has promised to train the team to be at their best performance for the AFC Asian Cup qualifying match against Lebanon at Larkin Stadium on June 13.
He hopes that this two weeks period would be enough for him to train the Harimau Malaya team and to find the right combination among the players for the upcoming game.
“I don’t want to give excuses that I need more time. I will work to shape my team into a quality players. Of course there pressure but it is normal before the game, it is good pressure.
“I hope to use this time to get to know my players since I only arrived here a few days ago, but I do believe in the people that I’m working with,” he told reporters after his first training session with the team at Padang Seri Gelam here, last night.
However, the training session was short of 11 players from Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) called up by Vingada.
The JDT players are in the Philippines for the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone semi-final second-leg game against Ceres Negros tomorrow (May 31).
“They will probably join us on June 3 because their flight back is on June 1. The best option to put them into shape is to train them hard without any friendly match,” he said.
On issue of bringing in some of the ‘old players’ to the team, he said that any players that has the quality to represent the team would have the chance to play regardless of their age.
“If you look at players for example from the Italy and England, you can see (some) of the players are over 30 (but they are still) playing the game and are good players.
“I love to invest in new players, to bring in new talents. This has always been the way I work, that is why I have requested two players from the Under 22 squad. If they have the quality, they will play and the same goes for the old players.”
The Portuguese said he and Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim were committed in bringing changes and ideas into the local football industry.
“That is why it is important to work, to have the talent, to set the right kind of motivation. This is just a small step that I hope can be positive, if we have good result in the qualification match, that would be great.
“Me and my players are in this together, we will play for the national team and country with pride. Tunku Ismail himself wants to bring new vision and new ideas and we will respond by giving it our best,” he added.