Kim Swee to lean on JDT players

Beijing Guoan knocked off top of table after loss to Jiangsu

Interim Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee has revealed that he plans to use a number of players from Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) for the 2018 World Cup qualifier against Timor-Leste on Tuesday.

Kim Swee is counting on the JDT members of his squad to have a big impact against Timor-Leste as they are familiar with each other's playing style.

"I won’t be making too many changes to the squad, though I will be mixing old and new players," he told Utusan Malaysia. "We know the JDT players have an understanding, especially the likes of Kunanlan, Amri Yahya, Safiq Rahim as well as Safee Sali, as they train together most of the time."

In addition to the JDT players, Kim Swee also plans to include Kedah midfielder Baddrol Bakhtiar and Pahang captain Razman Roslan in the national team.

"I don't see any problem between putting together Baddrol along with Razman – I'll only use different players when I feel like I need to have a different approach in the team's tactics," he said.

Kim Swee has urged his side not to underestimate Timor-Leste, a side who are bolstered by a handful of naturalised players in their squad. 

Timor-Leste have used naturalised footballers since 2012, with the Brazilian-born quartet of Juninho, Paulo Helber and Rodrigo Silva, and Patrick Fabiano key players.

"Timor Leste have got plenty of naturalized players, and these guys have valuable experience of having played in leagues that are way bigger than our leagues in Malaysia," he said. "I believe they wouldn’t be as strong if they didn’t have naturalized players on their squad."

Malaysia currently sit at the bottom of the Group A standings with one point from four matches, with a victory over Laos in a friendly on Friday their first victory in 2015.