National team badly need training, says Cheng Hoe

PETALING JAYA: National coach Tan Cheng Hoe is keeping his fingers crossed for a solution to their training woes.

The Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have sent a proposal to the National Security Council (MKN) on a special standard operating procedure (SOP) for the national team ahead of the 2022 World Cup-2023 Asian Cup Qualifiers scheduled next March.

They have requested for a centralised training camp under a bubble.

The national body have also asked the MKN to make an exception to a 14-day quarantine when the team return from their Group G match against United Arab Emirates in Dubai on March 25.

Their next match against Vietnam is on March 30 in Kuala Lumpur.

Cheng Hoe is desperate to test his players in training as part of their preparation for the qualifiers.

“It’s good to hear that FAM have made a proposal to the MKN. We badly need a training camp because the last time we had one was a year ago. The Covid-19 situation has really affected all of our plans this year, ” said Cheng Hoe.

“I’ve given my thoughts to FAM on what we can do to prepare the team... we can have the best players in the world but if there’s no training, it will amount to nothing.”

“I really hope the authorities will consider our proposal because we are at the crucial stage of the qualifying campaign and we have a good chance of qualifying to the Asian Cup.”

Malaysia are in second spot in Group G with nine points after five matches.

UAE are fourth with six points and have a game in hand, while Group G leaders, Vietnam have 11 points and Thailand are third with eight points and Indonesia are bottom of the group without any points.

UAE, Thailand and Vietnam are holding an advantage in the qualifiers as their national teams have conducted several training camps, played in several friendlies and competed in their ongoing leagues.

“Other countries are ahead of us in terms of their preparations. UAE have signed a new head coach and they have conducted training camps and played friendlies. It’s the same with Thailand where their Thai League is ongoing.”

“Our players sorely lacked competitions, with our players only playing 11 to 12 matches in the M-League this year. Ideally, a player needs 30-40 matches a season, ” he pointed out.

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