Pan Gon hits out at hectic AFF Cup schedule

KUALA LUMPUR: The hectic AFF Cup schedule is taking a heavy toll on Harimau Malaya, and national coach Kim Pan Gon is not too happy.

Harimau Malaya defeated Myanmar 1-0 in a Group B match in Yangon on Wednesday and returned to Kuala Lumpur the next day.

Pan Gon's side will play minnows Laos in their second match at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tomorrow. He said the hectic schedule was affecting the players' recovery.

"After arriving here from Yangon, we focused on recovery. Some players, who were injured, we sent to the hospital for scans. We are still waiting for their medical reports," said Pan Gon at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya today.

"The AFF Cup schedule is tough. It is not easy as we have to travel from one country to another in a short period of time.

"However, we are managing this, and we know how to prepare for the next match.

"Our sports science team are helping the players with the recovery process. I hope they will be prepared to give their best tomorrow."

Pan Gon hopes to build up on a healthy goal difference against Laos tomorrow. Vietnam lead the standings after thrashing Laos 6-0 in Vientiane on Wednesday.

"We must win tomorrow. If we want to win the group, we have to catch up on goal difference as well. Vietnam scored six goals away, and we scored one, and now we are minus five.

"We will respect the Laotian team. Laos will aim to make amends after their big loss. They don't want to lose face again, so that is what we can expect.

"We must be stronger against Laos to achieve our target."

Pan Gon also warned his boys not to take their opponents lightly.

"They will keep the ball and not give us space. It will be a more difficult game," the 53-year-old added.

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories