PETALING JAYA: Despite being aware of the high hopes of Malaysians on the national football squad to qualify for the Asian Cup 2023 resting on his shoulders, chief coach Tan Cheng Hoe does not want to be labelled as a coach who is always giving excuses for losing.

Malaysia have the chance to return to the right track towards the target when hosting Thailand and Indonesia in two crucial Group G matches in the second qualifying round for the World Cup 2022 /Asian Cup 2023 this month.

Victories against the two teams would rekindle the hopes of Harimau Malaya and soothe the disappointment of fans over the two defeats suffered by the national squad in the first three earlier games.

Malaysia lost 1-2 to United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil before yielding 0-1 to Vietnam in Hanoi which once again led local supporters to question the effectiveness of the country’s frontline.

Cheng Hoe stressed that the players in the current national squad are the best batch of players. “On the overall, we played well but we did not win. The leading players now are still young and are relevant to the team. But we have to monitor and make changes if necessary.

“As the coach, I am still positive as we have to find the best option for the team. I do not want to give excuses but as the coach, it is my duty to find the best combination for the best results,” he said when met by reporters at a training session at Wisma FAM Thursday. – Bernama

National players train at Wisma FAM field on Thursday. Photo:Bernama