Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Malaysia call on Rush to solve striking woes

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Malaysian soccer chiefs are hoping to inject some Anfield magic into their forward line after recruiting Liverpool great Ian Rush to help solve the country's goalscoring problems.

The country's soccer federation is planning an upheaval of its national team after their embarrassing performance as co-hosts of last year's Asian Cup. Malaysia suffered humiliating defeats in all three of their group matches and scored only one goal. As part of the revamp, national team coach B. Sathianathan will spend three weeks with English Premier League champions Manchester United, working alongside former Real Madrid coach Carlos Queiroz, Alex Ferguson's number two. Khairy Jamaluddin, deputy president of the Football Association of Malaysia, told local media that Malaysia were struggling because of their poor quality strikers. 'Rush will be here in March... we know that our strikers are not doing very well so they should learn from him,' Khairy said. 'It is important that our coaches get experience with an international team. Sathianathan will be shadowing Carlos Queiroz for the three weeks.' Sathianathan, who replaced Norizan Bakar last August, told Tuesday's Star Newspaper: 'This a great chance for me to learn from the best. 'The national team will not be in training during that period and I can spend time learning and looking at ways to further improve our team. Malaysia were eliminated in the first round of qualifiers for the 2010 World Cup in November and have never gone beyond the group stages of the Asian Cup.