A heart to heart talk with the players after their morning pool session has given coach Dato Ong Kim Swee fresh optimism ahead of the two matches of their Oceania Tour.
Having lost 2-0 to lowly ranked Pspua New Guinea, the national team has been branded as "clowns" by one papers while another said they had no space to report on "rubbish".
These remarks left a deep impact on Kim Swee and his charges, as although he felt it was unfair to judge them without actually seeing the performance and solely basing on the result, Kim Swee is taking the sensational reporting in his stride.
And the players, though hurt by these reports, have promised to pull up their socks in the two remaining matches against New Caledonia and Fiji.
The team headed back to Brisbane Saturday afternoon where they will train over the weekend before leaving for New Caledonia on Monday.
" It's easy to criticise without actually watching the match and just basing it on the end result," said Kim Swee before the team left Papua New Guinea.
" Our opponents are a very good side and their rankings are not a fair reflection of their ability.
" Only last week they took New Zealand to penalties in the Nations Cup final and mind you the Kiwis have made the World Cup. So are the Kiwis rubbish and clowns as well?
" I admit that we were below par in our performance and perhaps I should not have made so many changes in the hindsight.
" But the tour has several objectives amongst which is to give fringe players a chance to stake their claim."
Kim Swee said that he will now field the best available players in the remaining two matches.
Though this will not be in line with his objective of exposing players and building a strong bench, at least it will stop the critics from passing unfounded and baseless comments against the team.
" I will field the best players in the next two matches and hopefully we get a positive result,"added Kim Swee.
" Though it will mean that some players will not see action, this will also serve as a wake up call for them to do better in training and prove their ability."
With that in mind the coach is expected to retain the same line up as was the case in the matches against Timor Leste early June.
With the exception of the goalkeeper that might be rotated amongst the three in the squad, those who played in the second leg of the Timor Leste match could well be pencilled in as the first XI for the match against New Caledonia.
" I am not offering excuses but we must accept the fact that we are not good enough yet," clarified Kim Swee.
" As I said we need time and results at times do not go our way.
" No doubt some players let me down but it's unfair to generalise and condemn the entire team as failures.
"I have told the players to let their performance on the field to do their talking in response to this negative aspersions cast on the team."