Give Josue, Dos Santos time to adapt to Harimau Malaya’s playing style - Pan Gon

18/03/2023 11:31 PM

JOHOR BAHRU, March 18 (Bernama) -- Harimau Malaya head coach Kim Pan Gon is willing to give his two new naturalised players - Paulo Josue and Endrick Dos Santos - more time to adapt to his style of play as he tries to play down expectations ahead of the two Tier 1 international friendlies next week.

 The South Korean said although both players had proven themselves in the Super League, it was still important for them to get used to how he sets up the national team to play.

“As you said, Josue and Dos Santos... we have high expectations of them being able to help bolster our attack but we don’t want to put too much pressure on them. We (will first) try to help them to adapt to the team so that we can explore their potential. 

“I think they have already proven themselves in the Super League. I think everybody knows that they are top quality players but I think our fans, and I, need a bit of patience because they are also human... it’s not easy for them to adapt. 

“We need to fully support them so that they can help us,” he told reporters after the squad’s first training session at Padang Sri Gelam field, here tonight.

Apart from the two Brazilian-born players, Pan Gon also called up 12 new faces to join the national centralised training camp for the two friendlies against Turkmenistan (March 23) and Hong Kong (March 28) at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri.

Among the new faces are goalkeepers Damien Lim and Sikh Izhan Nazrel Sikh Azman as well as Fayadh Zulkifli Amin (winger), Daniel Ting (defender),  Feroz Baharudin (defender) and Finland-born Nooa Laine (midfielder).

Pan Gon has also retained nine of the 23 players who featured in the 2022 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Cup competition in January.

Asked why he called up Laine, Pan Gon said he felt that the 20-year-old is a top quality addition to the team, having gained valuable experience playing for SJK Seinajoki in the Finnish top division.

“A young boy but has a lot of experience in the First Division. I see a good and strong player with good fighting spirit... so, we want to see that,” he said.


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