When Tan Cheng Hoe was at the helm at Kedah, his side were unanimously anointed within the country as the team that plays the most eye-catching brand of football, with their intricate short and quick passing style.
The question on everyone's mind is whether this will be translated to the national team now that Tan has taken over the head coach role from Eduardo Vingada. The immediate friendly match against Mongolia on Thursday will be the stage for the first trial to be tried.
With the opponent in 224 place in the FIFA rankings, 46 spots below Malaysia's 178th spot, they seemed like the right type of opponent for experimentation. Of course it will not be easy for the players to understand the style in just a couple of training sessions and the Thursday's match is unlikely to be the final form of the style that Tan is looking for.
It was an interesting session on Monday where Tan worked exclusively with the shape of the team at specific passages of play, constantly freezing everyone in their spot to readjust their positions, all of which are vital to a successful short passing team.
"I hope we get a positive result and a good start for the team. I know expectations are high but we need to be patient because this is the first game. For me as a coach, I'm confident with the way the players are at the moment, and they are motivated."
"It's almost the same players that we've called and I hope the players can adapt fast to what I want them to do, the philosophy that I want. Hopefully, the players can do their job well," said Tan before Monday's training session.
On the negative side, there are a few concerns within the squad what with Nor Azam Azih now joining S. Kunanlan on the crocked list as well as another player being on the medical watchlist; Tan has started out with a generally healthy squad.
"Kiko Insa has an eye infection on his right eye. That's why we have to segregate him from the rest of the group for fear of it being contagious. Yesterday we released Nor Azam after he came down with an injury that could see him sit out for 2-3 weeks. We've brought in Adib Zainudin to make it 28 players in the group, so that would be enough," added Tan.