Pan Gon reminds Dilmun Warriors of Harimau Malaya's bravery

DOHA: Coach Kim Pan Gon warned Bahrain that Harimau Malaya will bite them hard in tomorrow's Asian Cup Group E clash at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

The South Korean coach said Malaysia are in Doha to win matches, not a mere roster filler.

Both teams suffered defeats in their opening matches, with Malaysia losing 4-0 to Jordan and Bahrain falling 3-1 to former champions South Korea.

The Dilmun Warriors, ranked No. 86, are favourites tomorrow, having won seven of the last 12 encounters against the world No. 130 Malaysia.

Notably, Bahrain won 2-1 in their last meeting on June 11, 2002, during an Asian Cup qualifier.

Malaysia hasn't beaten Bahrain since their 2-1 triumph in the President's Cup in 1978.

"We did not come here to lose or draw. Tomorrow's game will be critical, and we will fight for a win against Bahrain," said Pan Gon in Doha today.

"Although we are the underdogs in Group E, we want to show everyone what we can do. We have already proven this in the last 24 months.

"We want to control, dominate and hit them hard for the three points. That is the Malaysian way of football.

Pan Gon admitted that the heavy defeat against Jordan was a bitter pill to swallow but believes the players are ready for the Bahrain game.

"I have reviewed the Jordan game with my players and fixed our weaknesses. We have been motivating the players to focus on tomorrow's game.

"Players tend to be disappointed when they lose their first game. Now, we have to rebound and strike hard.

"I want my players to be mentally strong and show resistance against Bahrain."

Pan Gon said midfielder Natxo Insa could be available for the Bahrain clash.

"We will assess the condition first because the main thing is to protect them from injuries. However, things are looking positive," he added.

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