Ong Kim Swee to rotate players for Thailand clash

Ong Kim Swee looks to rotate his squad while the Thailand head coach Kairung Threejagsang plans to attack against Malaysia U23 in the final group game of the Merdeka Tournament

Going into the third and final round of the group stage of the Merdeka Tournament, Malaysia Under-23 head coach Ong Kim Swee looks to rotate his squad for the match against Thailand.

His side pulled off a 2-1 comeback victory on Monday night at the Darul Makmur Stadium after going down to Myanmar Under-23 in the first half.

K. Reuben and Thamil Arasu have been suspended after both of them picked up their second yellow card and will miss the third-round tie with Thailand on Wednesday night.

At the press conference on Tuesday Ong said: “It will be a very tough game.

“I will rotate my players but I need to see how it goes after training.

“I want my players to step up so we'll have two first teams.”

Young Tigers’ captain, Irfan Fazail, feels that his side will be going into Wednesday’s match on a high after a positive result against Myanmar.

“The team spirit and understanding are really good at the moment, especially after last night's win,” the 22-year-old said.

The Thailand Selection side on the other hand, have no plans to drop gear upfront when facing Malaysia despite needing only a draw to qualify for the final.

Head coach Kairung Threejagsang was also present at the press conference and asserted that he will maintain a very offensive style of play that dumped out Singapore Under-23 on Monday evening.

He said: “We'll keep our attacking style against Malaysia.

“Malaysia are a good team and we'll try to do our best.

“We [will also] have to adjust the defensive side of our game”

Threejagsang singled out Wan Zack Haikal, the scorer of Malaysia’s winning goal against the Burmese, as the man to watch.

“We think Wan Zack is a really good player who can shoot well,” he added.

“We must close him down [because] the wing play of Malaysia is dangerous.”

On top of that, the Thais will also hope to welcome back Kasidech Wattayawong, their No. 9, to the team after he missed out on the clash with Singapore.