Dismayed but accepting reality.
That is the reaction of national coach Dato Ong Kim Swee on the sudden withdrawal of two players - Shafiq Rahim and Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak yesterday.
Rather then fret over the decision, Kim Swee took the blow on his Chin like a boxer, never batting an eyelid.
" It's their choice to make and I will just have to accept it," said Kim Swee.
" I thank them for their services to the national team and wish them the very best.
" Should circumstances change in the future and they want to be considered for selection, I practice an open door policy and if their form or performance is up to expectation, then I will pencil them down for a call up."
The Malacca born coach said that while their retirement leaves a vacuum in the national side, life has to go on and the focus remains on building a national team that will be able to restore the faith of Football fans into the sport.
" As a coach I accept the fact that players cone and go and if this is what they want then we just have to respect the decision," added Kim Swee.
" I am not at all surprised by the decision as they ( the players ) would have given a serious thought before making the announcement."
" I was never told about it prior to their announcement and have accepted it ."
On the likelihood of more players following the footsteps of the duo this leading to a notion that Kim Swee has lost control of his dressing room, this was his response.
" One must have the desire and pride to don the national jersey as we owe it to the citizens of this great nation when selected to represent the country in matches" said Kim Swee.
" The desire comes from within a person and cannot be forced.
" We judged by our actions and not what others think of us.
" Ultimately the glory on the pitch is not mine or of FAM's but it belongs to the nation as a whole."