KUALA LUMPUR: Former international Lee Wan Wah has urged the national Thomas Cup team to treat the tournament the same as they would with training.
Wan Wah, a former doubles shuttler, pointed out that Malaysia have always performed better when there was no pressure.
"It is funny as we always play better when there is no pressure. In 2014, they surprised everyone by reaching the final in New Delhi.
"I guess it is the same with this year. On paper, we don't look strong, but this is probably our best team. We have to trust the coaches' selection and not pressure the players.
"If there is one thing I want to tell the players is don't think too much of the Thomas Cup. Think of it as if it was training. Go in, do your best and don't worry too much about winning or losing.
"If all the players can play well, I think we have a good chance of going far," said Wan Wah, after the Fleet sponsorship event for the Mauritius’ Uber Cup squad on Wednesday at the Olympic Council of Malaysia.
Similar to some of the younger shuttlers in the squad this year, Wan Wah was only 23, when he helped Malaysia reach the final of the 1998 Thomas Cup in Hong Kong.
On whether he had any regrets, having also missed out on the title in 2002 in Guangzhou, Wan Wah added: "Of course, there were regrets. In 2002, I was carrying an injury, but I think the team gave their best. Regrets are always there, but life goes on.
"This year I see it as the best opportunity for our younger players to shine. At this moment of time, they are not top 10 or top 5 players, so there is no pressure. I really think it will work in our favour."
Malaysia open their campaign on Monday against Russia.