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Malaysia will not sit back: Rajagobal


28-Dec-2010
Jakarta: Although his side hold a three-goal lead in the AFF Suzuki Cup final, Malaysia coach K. Rajagobal has insisted that they have no intention to simply park the bus in front of goal for the second leg against Indonesia on Wednesday.

A brace by Safee Sali and an Ashari Samsuddin pile-driver in the first leg has put the Tigers within touching distance of their first ever AFF Suzuki Cup triumph. Rajagobal, however, believes that it will be no easy task to preserve that advantage in the return match at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium

"I have arrived in Jakarta with optimism because we have a three-goal lead but we know it will not be easy playing against a good team like Indonesia in front of their home fans," said the Malaysia coach.

"We have to play well and our focus must be very high throughout the game. As they are playing at home and their fans will be completely behind them, they will attack us from the start and they will try to get an early goal to cut the deficit.

"We faced the same situation against Vietnam in the semi-finals and it will be another tough match. But hopefully, tomorrow's match will be played in a good spirit and we will give the fans an exciting game to watch."

To that end, Rajagobal said that he had no intention to make his team sit back and try to absorb the Indonesian pressure for the whole 90 minutes.

"I come out for every game with the same intention – to try to play and score goals and win the match," he said. "Even with a three-goal lead, we cannot afford to try to play for a draw against good opponents like Indonesia.

"We will try to play a bit offensively and we will try to be as well organised as possible. Our tactics against Vietnam may have appeared defensive but we will still trying to score to put ourselves into a stronger position.

Right-back Mahalli Jasuli and right midfielder Amirulhadi Zainal will be missing through suspension for the second leg but Rajagobal has every confidence that his team will be able to deal with those absences.

"I have already coped with a lot of problems," he said. "Coming into this tournament, I had lost eight of my core players through injury but now we are here in the final and even though we will miss these two important players who performed well during the first leg, I still have other options.

"I will see the players during the final training session today before deciding on our final squad. But we can cope without the two players and I have confidence in the players that I have."