Dollah Salleh unveiled as new Harimau Malaya head coach

Having declined the offer for the top job twice before in 2007 and 2009, Dollah Salleh felt that it was timely for him to take up the Harimau Malaya challenge.

The Malaccan-born coach, who took over from Datuk K. Rajagobal, wished to adopt the same philosophy that enabled him to taste Malaysia Cup success with Selangor MPPJ, Selangor and Pahang.

"I am toying with the idea of retaining up to 70 per cent of the national team and start scouting for new faces in the Malaysia Cup as we prepare for November's AFF Suzuki Cup," he told FourFourTwo after his unveiling as the new head coach at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya today.

"I want to create an atmosphere that is conducive for the players to deliver. By right once the players report for national duty, they ought to be concentrating on the tactical aspects of the game rather than the physical side.”

However, he was slightly concerned that he may not be able to immediately bring out the best in his national players.

"It remains to be seen if I could impose the same guidelines to the team, as I have realised that our players are being pushed hard in training with their respective teams; taxing them further may be counter-productive," said the former international.

A number of friendly matches has been arranged to help the new boss whip his side into shape for the AFF Suzuki Cup, which will be hosted by Singapore and Vietnam from November 22 to December 20, with Tajikistan being penned for an August 8 match followed by Jordan in October and Singapore in November, as confirmed by FAM secretary-general Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin.

"Malaysia Cup matches that clash with the dates for [the national team's] friendly matches will be rescheduled," Hamidin added.

Meanwhile national team manager Datuk Sudarsono Osman was excited to work with Dollah.

"Rather than watch and criticise the team from the comfort of my home, I wish to assume the responsibility," said the Sarawak FA president.

"Some individuals thrive under challenges and I fall into that category."

In the meantime, Dollah will continue to take charge of his current club, Premier League winners PDRM, in the upcoming Malaysia Cup competition before assuming his full-time duties with the national side.

(Photo Credit: FAM)