PETALING JAYA: Selangor coach Tan Cheng Hoe feels the current squad, despite losing to Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the Malaysia Cup final on Saturday, are strong enough to give a better challenge in the new season. And he wants to retain the players.
“I am happy with the work rate of the majority of the players since I took over two months ago. Their ability and confidence have also improved on the pitch and this squad can pose a stronger challenge next season,” added Cheng Hoe.
“I also feel the younger players have a lot of potential to improve.”
Cheng Hoe said he will sit with the management to make a thorough analysis of the performance of the players this season and make changes if necessary.
On the Cup final, Cheng Hoe said lapses in concentration in the second half spoilt all the good work done earlier by the team.
The Red Giants have been unbeaten since Cheng Hoe took over from Michael Feichtenbeiner on Sept 24 and hopes were high that they have what it takes to turn the tables on favourites JDT.
Selangor were heading in the right direction under the former national coach when Herlison Caion scored from a penalty (45th minute) before JDT equalised before the half-time break through Bergson da Silva (47th) and Fernando Forestieri’s strike in the 59th minute for a 2-1 victory in the final.
“The players were not overawed by the occasion but they just lost their concentration and allowed JDT to hit back,” said Cheng Hoe.
“The boys started well in the first half and played with high intensity.
“If we had utilised our chances to score in the first 15 minutes, it could have been different.
“However, in the second half, we started making mistakes due to lack of focus and after the second goal, our players started losing confidence.”