The Star Online > Sports
Tuesday May 4, 2004


Misbun hits out at players for not studying their rivals

BY LIM TEIK HUAT

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will go into battle in the Thomas Cup Finals in Jakarta on Friday. But national singles head coach Misbun Sidek wished that he could buy more time.

Misbun lashed out at the singles players yesterday for not making attempts to study their opponents better ahead of the world men's team championships.

“They should have made extra efforts to analyse the players, whom they are expected to play against in the Finals,” he said.

“They should have gathered all the information available on their opponents' strength and weakness, which will help in the planning of match strategies.

“But when I ask them whether they had made attempts to learn about their rivals, they were unable to give me specific answers.

“They have certainly not done their homework and they are just waiting for the coach to provide them with everything.

“I keep all the details and can compare our players' performance against anyone whom they are expected to meet.

“But I am not the one who will play the matches. The players should make efforts to learn in advance about their rivals, not one day before the match or when they arrive there for the Finals.”

Misbun added that the lack of knowledge on their opponents was one of the reasons for the players' inconsistency on the international stage.

“The player will try to hold back in training. In the long run, he will lose out because he is not giving a 100 per cent effort,” he said.

“When I send him out for competitions, the pressure mounts on him when he is unable to break down an opponent. He will get tense and that is the reason for them losing to unknowns. I am not surprised if this scenario repeats itself in Jakarta.”

Misbun said that the players had something to learn from the Europeans, especially the Danes, on studying their opponents.

“The Danes are skilful here. They take the trouble to study and analyse the Asian players well. This is one of the ways they use to try to gain an edge over their rivals,” he said.

The Malaysian Thomas Cup squad will wrap up their training here today. Together with the Uber Cup team, they will leave for Jakarta tomorrow.

Misbun added that he had done everything he could to prepare the players for the Finals.

“On the physical side, the players are improving on their explosive moments. They have also tightened up their defence,” he said.

Malaysia are in Group C and they open their campaign against South Africa on Friday. They will complete their group fixture against Thailand the following day.

Malaysia, who were the runners-up to Indonesia in the last Finals in Guangzhou two years ago, are expected to advance to the quarter-finals as the group winners for a tie against either defending champions Indonesia or China. The five singles players in the team are Wong Choong Hann, Roslin Hashim, Lee Chong Wei, Mohd Hafiz Hashim and Lee Tsuen Seng. The doubles players are Choong Tan Fook, Lee Wan Wah, Chan Chong Ming, Chew Choon Eng and Koo Kien Keat.