While his 17-21, 13-21 loss to Chong Wei in the final of the Proton National Circuit Grand Final here on Sunday was expected, coach Misbun Sidek wants to see more from Beng Hong.
More fighting spirit and more concentration, and above all, the element to surprise.
As the Badminton Association of Malaysia grapples to find the perfect singles line-up for the Thomas Cup final round in May, like it or not, the 27-year-old Beng Hong is surely part of the equation.
However, his performance against the No: 1 at the City Council Indoor stadium here has raised questions on Beng Hong's ability to conquer the world's best at the Thomas Cup in three months' time.
Misbun feels that Beng Hong has the skills but not the temperament. He has all the strokes, including the defensive game of a world-class player but not the strategy needed to kill off his opponent.
"And I want him to upgrade his fitness level so that he can outlast his opponent. I can see he is no match for Chong Wei, as far as fitness is concerned," noted Misbun.
Beng Hong will be off to the German Open from March 2-7 and that's where Misbun hopes to see the Kedah-born shuttler raise his game, a notch higher.
"But, if I were Beng Hong, I must tell myself that I need to train much more harder from now on. No excuses and no slacking.
"He knows where his game is lacking and he knows what he needs to do. At least, if he is 100 per cent (fit), than maybe has a chance to beat the better players," said Misbun.
For Beng Hong, the Thomas Cup is nothing new as he was already a member of the 2006 squad at third singles, which lost to Denmark 2-3 in the semi-finals.
"I know the situation I am in now. It's my mental strength which is my weak point. I remember when I was just starting out in my international career when I had all the stamina and the strength, but not the finer skills.
"But as I matured, I improved on my skills but then my endurance level dropped. "Now, I need to find the right balance between the two, fitness and skills, which I believe, will help me in my career," he said.
Source from BERNAMA