Brendan’s happy to be a ‘cheerleader’ for national team

Benched: Brendan Gan is suspended for the UAE tie on June 3 after picking up two yellow cards in the qualifiers.

PETALING JAYA: National midfielder Brendan Gan is fine with the role as a cheerleader when Malaysia take on United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the World Cup 2022-Asian Cup 2023 second-round qualifiers.

The 32-year-old Selangor captain is suspended for the game on June 3 after picking up two yellow cards in the qualifiers.

But he is determined to make up for his absence when he becomes available for the matches against Vietnam (June 11) and Thailand (June 15) to wrap up their Group G fixtures.

Brendan admitted that it was disappointing to miss the action against UAE.

“There is a little disappointment because as a player, you want to play every match. For the game against UAE, my job is to support the boys and motivate them, ” said the former Sydney FC player.

“In training, I am pushing them to give their all and will impart my leadership before the game so that everyone will be prepared to face the world No. 73 side, ” said Brendan.

“After the UAE game, I will give my 100% to get a starting spot against Vietnam and Thailand.”

Harimau Malaya will enter the game against UAE with two defeats from friendlies against Kuwait (1-4) and Bahrain (0-2) while their opponents showed that they are the hot favourites after thrashing India (6-0) and Jordan (5-1) in their last two games.

Unperturbed by the disparity, Brendan says Malaysia should face the Gulf side with dignity and reminded the boys of their 1-2 defeat against UAE two years ago, where Malaysia dominated but were unlucky to end the tie without any points.

“In our last game against them, we showed that we could play a good game. We have no pressure, ” said Brendan.

“They are under pressure because they have changed coaches several times and even tried new players. If we go as a team, we can beat anyone.

“For me, we know what we can offer. As long as we control our part of the game, we are capable of doing something. I am always positive.”

Meanwhile, national coach Tan Cheng Hoe, who celebrated his 53rd birthday yesterday, said it would be a dream to beat UAE.

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