KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) president Datuk Seri Subahan Kamal was realistic when he said that Group A was tough, but he did not expect his players to lose by such big margins at their own Junior World Cup (JWC).
The two matches that Subahan was referring to were the 4-0 defeat by Argentina and 5-2 hammering by Australia at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The Young Tigers only played good hockey in their 7-1 thrashing of Chile.
Malaysia next play in the ninth-16th bracket starting with Egypt on Monday, and coach Amin Rahim's boys can't bungle in the "Division Two of the KL JWC".
"I am disappointed with the way Malaysia played and lost by big margins to Australia and Argentina. We all knew that the two teams would be tough to beat, what we did not expect was that our players would let in so many goals and then play a chasing game.
"They were down 3-0 to Australia in 15 minutes, and that is something that I can't accept," said Subahan.
The goalkeepers, trained by coach Roslan Jamaluddin, were also a big disappointment, said Subahan.
"A team need good goalkeepers to win matches and ours were a disappointment as they let in easy goals that placed extra pressure on strikers. Roslan must shoulder the blame for their below par performance as well," said Subahan.
No. 1 goalkeeper Rafaizul Saini stood between the posts in all three matches, and Danish Afnan Faizal came in as a replacement for a few minutes.
The positive side of Malaysia's JWC campaign was not on the pitch but off it, the teams had only nice things to say about the venue and organisation.
And taking that into account, Subahan plans to host more events in Malaysia soon.
"All the feedback I received from foreign team coaches and officials were raving reviews of the venue and organisation.
"The FIH (International Hockey Federation) president, Datuk Tayyab Ikram is here, and will watch some matches today (Saturday). I will let him know that Malaysia is interested in organising more world-class events in future," said Subahan.
After the JWC is over, MHC will appoint a new coaching, as well as national team chairman, and start planning for the next one in two years' time.
"The new coaching chairman will be tasked to form a better team, especially for the next Asian Games as well as JWC in two years' time. MHC will plan from today itself," said Subahan.