Malaysia head coach Ong Kim Swee admitted that recovery will be his side’s main focus before facing Timor Leste in their 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup joint qualifiers campaign on Tuesday.
Ahead of the long trip to Timorese capital Dili, Harimau Malaya obtained a huge morale booster after winning their first international game in 2015, by defeating Laos 3-1 in Thursday’s friendly.
The 44-year-old tactician, who replaced Dollah Salleh in September, is hoping that his squad will use the little time they have to recharge and be ready for the game against South-East Asian rivals.
“I hope the players can have enough rest and recharge well because it was a long trip back home, before we set off again for Timor Leste,” Kim Swee told Utusan.
“I hope they have enough rest before we start training again on Sunday. Right now the players are in good conditions, and I hope there are no more serious injuries to happen.
The former Malaysia U-23 coach also revealed that he has given a call-up to Pahang defender Razman Roslan as Fadhli Shas’ replacement after the Johor Darul Ta’zim centre-back suffered an injury.
“First, Razman has joined the team to face Timor Leste,” he added. “The most important thing is that we have perfect replacements if there’s any injury to any player in the squad. We still have a few days before the game in Dili.”
Malaysia are still looking for their first victory in the qualifying campaign after losing three from four games, including their biggest ever defeat in that 10-0 loss to UAE last month.