Dollah Salleh has backed his Malaysia side to cope without veteran duo Shukor Adan and Amri Yahyah in the first leg of their 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final against Vietnam.
Harimau Malaya secured their place in the last four of Southeast Asia’s premier international tournament last Saturday, after beating fierce rivals Singapore 3-1 to seal a top-two finish in Group B behind Thailand.
However, the win came at a price as both Shukor and Amri picked up their second bookings of the group stage and, as a result, will miss Sunday’s clash with the Vietnamese at the Shah Alam Stadium.
But Dollah, who only took charge of the national team back in June, believes he has more than enough options in reserve to call upon.
“I don’t think I have a problem here,” he said on the Suzuki Cup’s official website.
“Of course, I’ll miss two versatile players but the question is who will start?
“I’ll be working on the replacements in the next couple of days.”
The 51-year-old did admit that one thing Malaysia would miss on Sunday would be the authoritative influence brought to the backline by Shukor, who has captained the side in every game at the tournament so far.
Nonetheless, the former Pahang and PDRM coach believes he has a capable replacement in Muslim Ahmad, who was part of the side that were crowned champions in 2010 and was brought back from international exile by Dollah.
“Shukor Adan is the only one in the heart of defence who gives out instructions to the players,” Dollah added.
“With him suspended, I hope the others will take the lead to get the team moving, especially the senior players.
“Muslim is commanding at the back and even partnered Fadhli Shas at the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup, which Malaysia won. He should have no problems partnering his PDRM team-mate Afif Amiruddin.”
Following Sunday’s first leg against Toshiya Miura’s charges, Malaysia will fly to Hanoi to play the return encounter at the My Dinh National Stadium on December 11.