Training before the two Tests..
NATIONAL coach Stephen van Huizen will attempt to make amends in the two Test matches against Japan this weekend, after two disastrous friendlies in Kakamigahara.
Malaysia lost 5-1 and 3-1 in the two friendlies, and van Huizen said even though he did not have six regulars, he does not want it to be an excuse during the Test matches Saturday and Sunday.
"No excuses to lose by such margins to Japan even though we did not have six regulars in the squad due to various reasons. The back-up players are the best that we have in the country today, and they need to prove themselves in the next two Test matches if they want to be recognised for future tournaments," said van Huizen.
Goalkeeper S. Kumar is still nursing his thigh injury,
Faiz Helmi and Fitri Saari have examinations and Shahril Saabah has family commitments (mother died).
National skipper Razie Rahim and Nabil Fiqri are back with Police training after getting a brief release to play in the Razak Cup.
Malaysia last played with a full squad against Japan in the Azlan Shah Cup and won 4-3 with two goals from Razie and one each from Fitri and Haziq Shamsul.
"Looking at the bright side, the six matches in Japan (four friendlies and two Test) will give me an insight and depth of the bench. This is important as we are preparing for the next tournament which is the Asian Champions Trophy which offers ranking points for the first time (to the top-three teams)..
"Malaysia also failed to qualify for the Junior World Cup, while Japan made it. But that does not mean we need to discard the entire juniors team as some of the players have potential to play in the senior side.
"They are being tested in Japan, and should give a better account of themselves in the two Tests to be in the circle."