It has been just a little over a month since Nelo Vingada started coaching the national football team, but the Portuguese coach claims that he has gotten to know the players much better now.
He also revealed that he feels much more confident leading the national team now, compared to the time they faced Lebanon during the Asian Cup qualifiers on June 13.
“I have a clearer vision now about the team, with the support of our staff. Our current mission is to find the right solution and correct what didn’t go too well against Lebanon.” the head coach told reporters during a press conference at Wisma FAM.
Speaking about the upcoming international fixtures for the Harimau Malaya squad, Vingada revealed that he will be making some changes to the selection of players.
“I’ll bring around 22 to 24 players to Malacca for the training camp. About six to seven players will be different from the previous national team squad. But the core of the starting 11 should be similar.” the head coach said.
“My biggest concern with the national team at the moment is finding a striker. Most teams in Malaysia employ a foreign striker, so it’s difficult for me to find a local one.
“In other positions, we can find solutions, but the striker position is tricky. We’re also looking at the possibility of getting foreign players who are eligible for Malaysian passports.”
The national head coach recalled how they used Johor Darul Ta’zim’s Hazwan Bakri against Lebanon with veteran Safee Sali as his back-up plan, but they need more options.
The coach added that there could be more options in the national U-22 squad, but the match against Hong Kong is right after the SEA Games, so that might pose a problem.
“My staff and I have been watching plenty of league games. I’m also following the U-22 very closely. When we go to matches, we are there to watch individual players. We might just be able to spot someone who can blend into the national team,” he added.