KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — National football squad head coach, Kim Pan Gon intends to use the King’s Cup tournament in Thailand as preparation for the upcoming Asean Football Federation (AFF) Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup.

He said the four-nation tournament would provide the opportunity for his charges to gain experience and confidence to face regional rivals in both cup tournaments.

“We will use this opportunity to get more information on their strengths and ability from our individual players,” he said during the pre-match press conference ahead of the national squad’s match against Thailand tomorrow in Chiang Mai.

He also expressed confidence in the new players called up for the tournament, and hoped that they would display their best performances to remain in the squad.

“As this is my first time facing Thailand, I want to maintain this momentum that we have from June and want us to will try our best to achieve another milestone,” he added.

Meanwhile, captain Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad said the team would make the most of the opportunity to show their capabilities against Thailand, though he was aware of their rival’s technical skills.

“We have a good track record for this year as we qualified for the Asian Cup, therefore we will have to keep up this momentum for every single game and show our best,” he added.

World number 148, Malaysia will play Thailand tomorrow, while Trinidad & Tobago (101st) will meet Tajikistan (109th). The winners meet in the final on September 25, while the losing teams will vie for third place.

Malaysia has won the King’s Cup four times previously, in 1972, 1976, 1977 and 1978.

The 2022 AFF Cup is scheduled from December 20 till January 16, next year, while the quadrennial Asian Cup will be held from June 16 till July 16, 2023. — Bernama