The frustration was obvious. And while Datuk Ong Kim Swee did not in any way rant against his employers – the FA of Malaysia (FAM) – still he felt that he was being given the short end of the straw when it comes to his preparation for the SEA Games.
Malaysia fell to a 1-0 loss to Thailand last night which put paid to their aspiration for a place in the semi-finals of the SEA Games this year. The defeat follows the previous 5-1 hammering they suffered at the hands of Vietnam.
“This is not a blaming game. But just look at how we prepared this team,” quipped Kim Swee.
“We only had three weeks playing together while Thailand and Vietnam had a continuous programme from last year. We have a good group of players but we have no stars.
“This is hardly a good preparation when compared to the other teams. In 2011, when we won the SEA Games gold, there was a continue programme from the previous squad.
“We also spent almost two years in Slovakia. While for the SEA Games in Myanmar in 2013, we had about six months but with the several injuries we suffered. But this time round, we were given only three weeks. What can we realistically expect?”
Malaysia had opened their campaign in Group B with a 1-0 defeat of Timor Leste that also saw the red card on Nazmi Mansor. That red blot affected the players’ psyche somewhat and they crashed to Vietnam where they conceded two penalties in the process.
Against Thailand, the Malaysian lads had little choice but to take it defensive as they lacked the quality to be effective.
“We struggled against Vietnam and Thailand as the truth is that we only have average players who work hard,” added Kim Swee.
“We still have two more matches to play for, against Laos and Brunei. So we should look at finishing things well.”
GROUP B STANDINGS
FIXTURES – 6 June 2015
At Bishan Stadium
2030 – Thailand vs Brunei
At Jalan Besar Stadium
2030 – Indonesia vs Cambodia