BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Malaysia's next friendly match, against Cambodia on Monday, is a somewhat new experience for Harimau Malaya boss Tan Cheng Hoe. This is because they are the hosts' first opponents since appointing Japanese star Keisuke Honda as head coach.
In the pre-match press conference for the friendly, the former Kedah head coach was bombarded by questions from the local journalists regarding his preparations before going up against Honda.
In his response, Cheng Hoe however remarked that he is more concerned about the Cambodia players, some of whom have played in the Malaysia Super League.
"This is the first time that I'm seeing such a huge media turnout. I'm sure everybody is eager to see the Cambodia coach (Honda), not me!
"Cambodia have never been easy opponents against Malaysia, and this time I'm sure their players want to perform more than 100 per cent in order to impress him.
"(But) as a coach I'm more concerned about the team than on the coach. Some of them have been playing in the Malaysian league such as [Keo] Sokpheng, Chan Vathanaka and Thierry Chantha Bin. On top of this, they are motivated due to their new coach, and they will receive the backing of the home fans," said Cheng Hoe on Sunday.
On his own charges, he revealed that he will stick to Harimau Malaya's usual gameplan, although he may field different players against the Angkor Warriors.
"We just came from a 2-0 friendly defeat to Chinese Taipei, but my players are injury free and will play how we have always played.
"Only two days have passed since the match, so maybe there will be rotation tomorrow, especially at a time when I'm still identifying the players I want to take to the AFF Championship later this year. I have to give every single one of them a chance to show that they have the quality that the team needs," explained the 50-year old trainer.
The match will be played at the Phnom Penh National Olympic Stadium, with kick-off time at 7.30pm Malaysian time.
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