Thai’s will be tough

After having seen the national U22 team go through a roller coaster preparation but yet carve out an unimaginable win, perhaps one should revert to the old days, pick players ala the social league, pick them as they turn up.

However , jokes aside , credit must go to national coach Dato Ong Kim Swee said after his motley crew had defeated Indonesia 3-0 in Bangkok in the AFC Cup U22 Qualifiers.

Kim Swee went through a harrowing time assembling a team for the tournament, as a matter of fact he could not even register the full complement of 23 players having only 22 present.

The win will surely be savoured by the coach but it was still a bitter sweet feeling for him.

" If only I had enough time and the full team to work with, then things would have been so much greater," said Kim Swee when contacted in Bangkok.

"We needed this win, not because of anything but to prove that desire, discipline and dedication can overcome all obstacles.

" We have talented players in the country but they need the exposure and confidence to take on opponents, something we lack due to lack of focus at times."

For the record, Kim Swee had just three full training sessions as many players were not released by their clubs and even those released had to shuttle back to their clubs/states to play matches last weekend.

Had the team done badly against Indonesia, the knives would have been out for Kim Swee but with this win, many are freely jumping on the bandwagon to lay credit whilst their only contribution was probably being visible when members of the media were around.

So what now? Will the players who ditched the team, through no fault of their one must reiterate, be considered for selection for the SEA Games?

" The best available players will be considered as far as I am concerned ," was the steely reply from Kim Swee.

" Those who are with me here in Bangkok are proving their worth and those at home will have to fight for their places,

" There are no Prima donnas in my team and I have shown that with grit and determination coupled with sound tactics and picking the right person for the right position, we can achieve the desired results."

Malaysia play hosts Thailand in the next game on Friday and Kim Swee knows that this will be a though one.

Although Thailand were held to a 1-1 draw by Mongolia, the scoreline was not reflection on the total domination of the Thai's in the match.

" Thailand are a different proposition altogether. We need to be more composed and clinical in order to register a positive result," added Kim Swee.

" The pitch conditions did not help the home team but they are a class above.

" We must also be cautious of Mongolia who are a physical side and I expect a very tough match against them.

" Frankly I will be happy with one point against the Thai's but what have we to lose?

" We will play our normal game and let the Thai's figure a way to beat us."