The Malayan Tigers lost to Qatar 1-0 at the Shah Alam Stadium last Tuesday and centre-back Aidil Zafuan thinks that the players, not just the coach, should be blamed for the result.
And with that, head coach Datuk K. Rajagopal’s reign will soon come to a close at the end of the year but Aidil was coy about who he’d like to see replace the 57-year-old.
He told The New Straits Times: “It is up to the FAM (Football Association of Malaysia) to decide who they want to appoint [as head coach] but as a player, I have tried to play to my best.
“The coach has also done his best and this is what has happened.
“We have one more match to play and we want to win that to try to qualify.
“As players, we have to take responsibility for the loss [against Qatar].
“The blame is on us and not just on the coach.”
With one game left to play in the qualifying rounds, a win against Yemen on March 5 next year will not secure a spot in the 2015 Asian Cup finals.
“We have one more game to play and if we win, we will have seven points,” Aidil said.
“We will fight to the finish as the best third-placed team and we will give it our all but it will take a miracle.”
As it stands, Malaysia are third in Group D but they need to be the best third-placed team in order to qualify for the finals.
Iraq are currently the top third-placed team, ahead of Lebanon in second, Syria (third), Malaysia (fourth) and Hong Kong (fifth).
Nonetheless, the Johor Darul Takzim defender remains adamant that the national team have done well.
“For as long as I can remember, Malaysia have never collected four points in an Asian Cup qualifying campaign,” Aidil added.
“I think we have done well.”