BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Although Selangor are the hosts of the pre-season tournament; Asia Challenge this weekend, and have been actively promoting the event to local football fans, Red Giants head coach B. Satiananthan will treat their matches no differently from any regular pre-season encounters.
The two-day event at the Shah Alam Stadium will see the participation of Selangor, as well as Indonesia's Persib, Thai club Bangkok United and Vietnamese champions Ha Noi FC. Four matches will be played, with Saturday, January 18 pitting Ha Noi against United and Selangor against Persib, and the very next day pitting Persib against Ha Noi, and Selangor against United.
But despite their two matches, the experienced trainer is only interested in using the tournament to continue preparing for the 2020 Malaysian competitions.
"I'm sticking with my programme and I cannot change it just because I want to win now. And for what? Any real football coach would keep to their programme and not care about their opponents.
"My main priority is still the league, the FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup, and not the friendly matches. Friendlies are for testing [players]. If I use the same players in every [friendly] match, they will burn out by the time the league kicks off. We may be off to a flying start in the first two or three matches, but afterwards we will suffer.
"I have to look at other aspects such as possible replacements. I want to experiment with a back three and a back four. Only a coach would understand this, I'm sorry to say," explained the former Malaysia boss when met by Goal on Tuesday.
Follow Goal Malaysia's Instagram account!