ASC2018: Rajamangala – ‘Nothing to Fear’ says Cheng Hoe

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Poor quality training fields, mammoth home crowd, and a promise of “nightmare outing for Malaysia” are just some of the things Harimau Malaya need to take care of when they face Thailand in the return leg AFF Suzuki Cup at the famed Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok on Wednesday.
Both teams going into the match on equal footing after the first leg at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil last Saturday ended in a scoreless draw despite a dominant performance by Malaysia.
National football coach Tan Cheng Hoe has added woes on his plate with three key players on the crock list although Gambian-born Mohamadou Sumareh seems to have recovered from his tight hamstring and joined his teammates in a workout on Tuesday evening.
The other two, Syazwan Andik (left back) and Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak (centreback) are still listed on the crock list.
Cheng Hoe, however, is not too concerned with the injuries to his trio, described as “pillars” as he believes that he has capable replacements should any one of the three fails last-minute fitness test before the match.
“Frankly, I am optimistic of a positive result if we can maintain the same tempo as we did in the first leg. Our opponents can embark on their psychological war to intimidate us but I have called my players to be focused and play according to match strategies,” said Cheng Hoe from Bangkok.
“Fear nothing. Be committed and shut your ears to the crowd. There is another match to be played to decide the out of the semi-final tie. We can do it and we need not fear of Thailand’s reputation at Rajamangala.’
The Thais have hammered 14 goals in their Group B matches – a massive 7-0 win over football minnows Timor Leste followed with a 4-2 win over Indonesia and a 3-0 win over Singapore.
“We have to go for an early goal to put the pressure on the Thais. Let us forget about the failure to score in Bukit Jalil and instead make it count at Rajamangala,” added Cheng Hoe. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH
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