New Malaysia head coach Nelo Vingada will welcome back a host of Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) players for next month's AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Lebanon in Johor Bahru on June 13.
Former national captain Safiq Rahim, S. Kunanlan, Aidil Zafuan and Azamuddin Akil have all been included in the 26-man squad for the Group B opener to end their international exiles.
Vingada admitted at Wednesday's official unveiling in Kuala Lumpur that his appointment would not bring instant results. However, he promised to get his hands dirty to help the flagging fortunes of the nation.
"I am not the kind of person who likes to talk about results, because results require hard work. But I believe with the experience I have, and the hard work we put in as a team, we can be as strong as possible to face Lebanon," Vingada said.
Nicknamed "The Professor", Vingada had success on the international front when he helped Saudi Arabia win the 1996 Asian Cup.
He reflected on that triumph to reflect on his flexible style of approach.
"I do not have a fixed set of philosophy, rather my approach is according to the level of the players. In countries where I have good success, we played a different way. In Saudi Arabia, we played with two strikers and it produced results," he said.
"I like fast players, players with no fear to go one-on-one, and players with strong mentality. They have to believe everything is possible."
Vingada will have Tan Cheng Hoe and Portuguese coach Joao Arnaldo Correia as his assistants.
The 64-year-old Portuguese nominated Tan as a valuable staff of his coaching staff.
"Coach Tan will be like a brother to me. With him being Malaysian and having a good track record with his former club [Kedah] he will be of good support to me," he said.
Tan did a good job with 2016 Malaysia Cup champions Kedah before he was recruited to join the national setup.
The Crown Prince of Johor, the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president known as TMJ hailed the arrival of Vingada.
"We have got a good coach with a wonderful C.V. who is qualified to enhance us. The idea of his appointment is to put a professional structure for the long term, and that is what we are looking for," TMJ said.
"We have limited resources, but we will do our best to prepare the team, despite the short preparation period."
He added that postponing the June 8 qualifier away to North Korea, due to security concerns, was the correct move.
"[North Korea] had written to me to suggest that it is safe for us to travel and play there, and I wrote back thanking them for their assurance. But this is the Asian Football Confederation's decision, and we must respect that," TMJ said.
Fifteen national players will report for the centralised training in Johor Bahru, while the other 11 JDT squad members will join them on June 2 after their AFC Cup ASEAN Zone semifinal, second-leg clash against Ceres Negros.
Khairulazhan Khalid, Hafizul Hakim, Izham Tarmizi, Rizal Ghazali, Khairul Helmi Johari, Matthew Davies, Shahrul Saad, Shahrom Kalam, Fazly Mazlan, Aidil Zafuan, S. Kunanlan, Baddrol Bakhtiar, Syazwan Zainon, Akram Mahinan, Muhammad Nor Azam, Ahmad Syamim Yahya, Wan Zaharulnizam Wan Zakaria, Safiq Rahim, Mahali Jasuli, S. Chanturu, Azamuddin Akil, Amirulhadi Zainal, Azrif Nasrulhaq, Safee Sali, Amri Yahyah, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri