The Malaysian head coach has been made the scapegoat for Malaysia's failure in the recent AFF Suzuki Cup, but defender Aidil Zafuan believes otherwise
"The Suzuki Cup failure shouldn't be blamed on the head coach only, as the players also have to take responsibility for their performances on the pitch," he told Harian Metro.
The head coach decision ultimately lies with FAM, but I have total faith in Datuk K. Rajagopal's ability to continue coaching the national team. And I'm sure the other players would also agree with me."
Despite offering their backing to Rajagopal, the FAM also hinted that a massive squad selection revamp has to take place in order to prepare well for the upcoming Asian Cup qualifiers in February 2013. Aidil now believes that it will be very important for players to perform for their league sides, in order to stake a claim for the national team spot.
"The coach certainly analyses all the players and picks his squad carefully for tournaments and matches. Similarly, I will be doing my best with Johor Darul Takzim, to make sure I stand a chance to be selected for the national team."
Malaysia have been drawn with Yemen, Bahrain and Qatar for the Asian Cup qualifiers, but Aidil is optimistic that the Malayan Tigers will be able to put on a strong show and surprise these Middle East giants.
"All three sides are Middle East giants. On paper, it definitely looks daunting for us but we have to believe and put in effort. With hardwork, anything is possible in football," he added.