| PETALING JAYA (11 July 2009) – Malaysia have lined up two matches against Zimbabwe as their final tune-up in preparation for the Manchester United game on 18 July 2009.
K. Rajagobal, the head coach of Malaysia, confirmed that initially the team was supposed to play Syria but has since changed it to take on Zimbabwe instead.
The two games against Zimbabwe will be on 12 July at the Kuala Lumpur Stadium in Cheras (kick-off at 8.45pm) and 14 July 2009 at the Shah Alam Stadium (kick-off at 5.30pm).
“At the very least, we will get two quality international matches under our belt,” said Rajagobal (pic).
But Rajagobal could not but lament the lack of time in which he has to prepare his squad against the English Premier League champions.
While the one-off match against Manchester United may just be an exhibition, Rajagobal feels that the team must look at it as part of the build-up for the long term.
“We only have a few days to prepare against Zimbabwe and then a few days later, we will face one of the strongest teams in the world,” added Rajagobal.
“But I believe that we have taken measures in which to prepare this squad within the shortest time possible and I hope that we can put up a commendable showing in the matches which we will play in these few days.”
Out of the 28 players that have been called for centralised training, only four players can be considered as being in the ‘veteran’ category and they are Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Amri Yahyah, Norhafiz Zamani Misbah and V. Thirumurugan.
“Only the matches against Zimbabwe will decide which player will get the chance to be in the starting eleven against Manchester United. There’s no guarantee for anyone,“ he quipped.