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Cheng Hoe wants Malaysia to keep emotions in check against Indonesia

17:07 EAT 26/08/2019
Indonesia vs Malaysia - AFF Cup 2012
Malaysia boss Tan Cheng Hoe revealed that winger Mohamadou Sumareh is not fully ready to join their centralised training.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Malaysia will play away to Indonesia in the opening match of their Group G World Cup/Asian Cup qualifying campaign, and Harimau Malaya boss Tan Cheng Hoe wants his charges to stay calm on September 5.

Malaysia can expect no warm welcome when they travel to Jakarta next month, and for this reason Cheng Hoe wants his men to focus on playing football.

"The first match of any competitions is very important to a team's confidence level, but it's never easy to play at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium. But my boys need to absorb the pressure and focus on the game. They need to avoid getting emotional, which will deter them from getting a positive result.

"The record of past encounters between the two sides is quite balanced, but this time around Indonesia's preparations are being undertaken more seriously. For example, they've naturalised five or six players, and they're now a better side than the side that turned up for last year's AFF Championship," remarked the 51-year old coach just before conducting training on Monday.

Asked about his charges' condition on the second day of centralised training, the former Kedah boss revealed that winger Mohamadou Sumareh still needs to recover from his recent club obligations.

"I can't push the players yet on the second day, so it's a moderate [intensity] session and observation day.

"Sumareh meanwhile has a groin strain, he didn't play for Pahang against Sabah (last weekend) and hasn't been training regularly for almost two weeks. We're still monitoring him and hopefully he will recover soon as he brings a massive impact to the team," said Cheng Hoe at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium.

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