Dollah believes Harimau Malaya can soar

Dollah Salleh believes his side can chuck aside their poor form in the build-up and do well in their AFF Suzuki Cup opener against Myanmar tomorrow.

Losing four out of the five friendlies in the lead-up has seen many supporters writing off the Malaysians’ chances even before the tournament kicked off.

However, head coach Dollah believes his side can put on a good show in Group B where they will take on Myanmar, Thailand and Singapore.

“Our preparations have not been easy, but I believe we can give a good fight with the players we have,” the 51-year-old told assembled media at the pre-match press conference held at Singapore’s M Hotel on Saturday afternoon.

“Almost half of the team have played in the last Suzuki Cup except for a few senior players which I recently called up.

“We’ve been preparing for two to three weeks together now and the players are looking more effective as compared to the first week since I took charge.”

Part of the optimism stems from his side’s promising first-half display in the 3-1 defeat against Vietnam in their final warm-up game last Sunday.

Harimau Malaya dominated the first 45 minutes and led at half-time through Amri Yahyah’s goal, but ultimately conceded three after the break to concede defeat.

“We lost that game, but I can see something coming up based on that first half performance,” the former PDRM coach said.

“There’re a few things which we did very well especially in terms of the combination play between the players.”

Having studied the Myanmar side during their Suzuki Cup qualifiers last month, Dollah acknowledged the threat the White Angels will pose and urged his boys to go for the three points tomorrow evening.

“I watched them in Laos and they certainly don’t look easy to beat,” he said.

“Now we have to put aside all these friendly matches. This first match is very important and we need to get a win to up the motivation levels amongst the players.”

Photo: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo