Malaysia needs improvement to match Cup rivals

Malaysia thrashed Cambodia 6-0 in a confidence-boosting friendly on Tuesday, but coach Norizan Bakar is looking for a big improvement to avoid home-town embarrassment at the AFC Asian Cup. "The positive thing is obviously the result," Norizan told the New Straits Times newspaper. "It is important that we get off on the right note in the first game of the final phase of training. Now we have to perform better against the United Arab Emirates. The match against Cambodia showed us that we have to take our chances well. We cannot afford to miss scoring chances when you are playing teams such as China, Iran and Uzbekistan, as they will not give you the time or space to move around."

Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Deputy President, Football Association of Malaysia, called on Malaysian fans to get behind the team, although they expected to come last in the group. "I hope it will be a memorable Asian Cup for Malaysian football as the success of the event will depend on how the players perform," Abdullah told the same newspaper. "I also hope the fans would be behind the team all the way."