Maldives coach Darren Stewart has stressed that he takes responsibility for the defeat against Palestine in the Asian Cup qualifiers.
Maldives lost 3-0 at home, with all three goals scored by Palestine in the second half.
"I take full responsibility," Stewart said after the match. "The boys played well especially in the first half. I should have made the changes a bit earlier. The boys were tired and it was my fault to make the changes a bit later. If anyone is to blame, blame me."
Substitute Ahmad Maher Wirdat scored two goals in the space of three minutes for Palestine and substitute Ahmed Abu Nayheh got the third goal late on.
Referring to the first two goals, Stewart said that a lack of concentration for five minutes cost the game for the Maldives.
"I think the first goal turned things around," the experienced Australian coach said.
Stewart said that he will analyze the match and is confident Maldives will improve in the games ahead.
"Once the boys get back to their clubs, and get some match fitness they will be better. We still got games left in the competition and we will improve." Stewart said.
We always seem to concede goals around the hour mark. As a fan, it's frustrating as hell. Why is it that the players looked so slow and lethargic even though they have not played a match for half the month? That was one of the most disjointed displays I have ever seen by us on home soil. We simply had no control in the middle of the park. Umair is a good player, but he has a tendency to go missing against big, physical sides and once again we saw this. Adey brings a lot of energy to the side, but he simply does not have the defensive discipline required to play as a holding midfielder. We really miss the likes of Bakaa, Akram etc. in the middle. Also, Sentey may be quick and look threatening on occasion, but for me, he is one of the most frustrating players, especially most of the times he's played for the national team. His decision making is terrible. I lost count of the number of times he tried to dribble past opposition players and losing possession when there were team mates all around him, or going for goal when he should've tried to play a through ball etc. He simply does not function very well as a winger. And if we want to get better results, we need players who could control the midfield, instead of forcing our defenders to hoof hopeful balls to the front men. I hope Darren Stewart will see this as a wake up call of sorts. The fact of the matter is that his previous games were against Bangladesh and Laos, two teams which are scraping the barrel in Asian football. FAM needs to help him with friendly fixtures and training camps.