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 By Paul Murphy

TMJ to review Malaysia coach Vingada, Asian qualifying campaign

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ) is set to discuss the national team's future direction after the second game of their Asian Cup qualifying double header against North Korea in netural Thailand on Monday.

TMJ has accepted responsibility for Friday's 4-1 defeat to the North Koreans, who had lost 5-0 in their previous qualifier.

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The thrashing in Buriram saw some of the few fans present vent their fury at the players, and head coach Nelo Vingada, as they boarded the team bus after the game.

It also effectively ended the hopes of Harimau Malaya of a place at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, as they sit bottom of Group B with only an extremely faint chance of progress.

But TMJ, who is also owner of Malaysian champions Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT), insists that he is accountable for the latest defeat overseen by the man he chose to lead the national team.

"As FAM President, I take full responsibility for the national team's defeat and any future defeats,' TMJ said in an official FAM statement.

"Once the team returns from Thailand, I will have a meeting with our Technical Director and make a decision to improve the national team in all aspects.

"I serve the people and I will try to implement the desires of the people the best I can. If I am still needed to improve the quality of Malaysian football, I will continue to carry the responsibility entrusted to me."

It is unclear if the meeting with technical director Peter De Roo will feature a discussion about Vingada's future, but another defeat on Monday would make it seven games without a win since he took charge in May.

Meanwhile, Vingada will look to skipper Safiq Rahim to inspire his team after Friday's dispiriting result in Buriram, with Vingada expected to select a much-different side

Safiq missed the first of the double header through suspension, and while the Malaysians fought hard, they lacked the power and guile to trouble their opponents.

Vingada will hope that the JDT midfielder can provide the spark that lifts his side to what would be an unlikely victory.

If Safiq and his teammates can help Vingada notch his first win as Malaysia head coach -- or even avoid defeat in an improved performance -- TMJ's conversation with De Roo may take on a very different complexion.

Safiq led JDT to Malaysia Cup success with a 2-0 victory over Kedah in the final on Nov. 4, but blotted his copybook after an ugly post-match outburst at Shah Alam Stadium.

Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK

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