Indonesia must do more than just want to win Suzuki Cup: coach

December 28, 2021 | 06:02 am PT
Indonesia must do more than just want to win Suzuki Cup: coach
Indonesia players at AFF Cup. Photo by Reuters
Having the desire to win the Suzuki Cup will not be enough to end Indonesia's drought in the Southeast Asian championship, said coach Shin Tae-yong, as he urged his side to play to their potential in the final against five-times champions Thailand.

The two sides meet on Wednesday in the opening clash of the two-legged final in Singapore, where the regional competition is being played in a biosecure 'bubble' due to the pandemic. The second leg will be played on Saturday.

Indonesia have never won the tournament since its inception in 1996 and Shin said they will not become champions just because they want to.

"I want to be champion this time but lifting the trophy doesn't just happen because you want to lift the trophy," said Shin.

"Being the champion is something that comes your way when you do your best in every single match that you play.

"As a head coach I became champion more than 20 times and, from that experience of being a champion so many times, I will utilise the same strategy and instil the same mentality into the players and try to become champion this time around."

It was Shin's record of success that convinced Indonesia to hire the 51-year-old in late 2019.

The former midfielder was an Asian champion as both a player and coach at South Korean club Seongnam Ilhwa before leading his nation at the World Cup finals in Russia in 2018.

While his team missed out on a place in the knockout rounds, Shin's side defeated Germany in their final group game in Kazan to eliminate the defending champions.

Since taking over in Indonesia, Shin has overhauled the squad, lowering the average age in the process.

Indonesia booked a spot in their fifth Suzuki Cup final with a 5-3 aggregate win over Singapore on Saturday that came after a 4-2 victory in extra-time in a dramatic second leg.

Shin's side go into the first leg without the suspended Pratama Arhan while Thai left back Theeraton Bunmathan is also out after picking up a second booking of the tournament as his side eliminated defending champions Vietnam on Sunday.

"The players have got motivation because we failed five times before," said Indonesia midfielder Egy Maulana.

"Now we have the chance, it's a big chance for us, so the players have a strong mentality and really want to be champion.

"But we know it's not just about talking about being champion. We have to work hard and be strong as a team."

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