Kedah football coach Cheng Hoe stays put... for now

Business as usual for Kedah head coach Tan Cheng Hoe. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Business as usual for Kedah head coach Tan Cheng Hoe. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

PETALING JAYA, April 6 — With the position of Mario Gomez as national team head coach in some doubt, the man slated to be his deputy prefers to stick hard and fast by the job he has in hand.

That’s Kedah head coach Tan Cheng Hoe, who prefers the bird he has in hand to anything speculative in the bush

FA of Malaysia president Tunku Ismail on Tuesday explained Cheng Hoe might not be assistant to the national team head coach if there are changes in the appointments he had announced earlier.

Cheng Hoe’s appointment as assistant head coach was owed to Gomez who wanted him because the Argentine saw him as the best local coach.

“About my position with the national set-up, I’m still blurry and I reserve my comments.” said Cheng Hoe.

“I will let FAM and Kedah FA settle the issues. I just concentrate on my position with Kedah. I’m just running my coaching and training sessions as usual,” added the Kedah handler.

“Most important thing, I refuse to argue with the fans. They hate me enough.” he said.

Tunku Ismail also explained Cheng Hoe could be retained as assistant head coach if the new head coach wants him and is able to work alongside him.

The Johor royal iterated there would a place for Cheng Hoe in the national team if he wants a place.

On his first day as FAM chief on March 25, Tunku Ismail rang the changes by appointing Argentine Gomez, as head coach and demoted Datuk Ong Kim Swee to the post of national Under-22 coach.

On Monday, Cheng Hoe said he was leaving the Red Eagles return to the national set-up as assistant to Gomez.

Cheng Hoe was Datuk K Rajagobal’s assistant from 2009 to 2013.

But Kedah FA refused to allow him to leave until they get a letter from FAM.

They said as long as there is no official offer and verification from FAM, they would not make any decision on Cheng Hoe’s future.