KUALA LUMPUR: Coach Eduardo Vingada is not afraid to make changes to the national football team.
The Portuguese has dropped 11 players from the team who lost 2-1 to Lebanon in their 2019 Asian Cup Group B qualifying match on June 13.
Now, he plans to try out the new players when they meet Syria in a friendly at the Hang Jebat Stadium in Melaka today (8.45pm).
Vingada feels that the players’ performance will improve if they can adapt to his coaching methods.
“It’s my job to bring in solutions, but I’ve to know the players well first. I’ve gone to more than 20 games to pick the best players and to know them well.
“The game against Syria tomorrow (today) is part of the process to prepare us and I hope we can do well,” said the 64-year-old Vingada yesterday.
“The starting XI will be a bit different compared to the game against Lebanon. I believe that the best players were fielded against Lebanon but we want to see the new players’ performances first before making any final decision.”
Vingada is set to unleash rookie Shahrel Fikri Mohd Fauzi against world No. 80 Syria.
The 22-year Perak State Development Corporation (PKNP) striker hopes that this will be the first of many more caps with the national team.
“This call-up does not mean I’ve achieved anything. This is just the beginning. I know I still have a lot of things to achieve and my target is to break into the starting IX,” said Shahrel, who has scored 16 goals in all competitions in the M-League this season.
“Frankly, I’m still adapting to my national teammates’ style of play. But there are several Perak players, like Shahrom (Kalam) and Nasir (Basharuddin), so it has been easier for me to integrate myself into the team.
“We have more matches coming up, so I’m sure we will all be on the same page soon.”
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