Jakarta: Indonesia coach Bima Sakti hopes his squad's failure to advance from the group stage of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup will serve as a wake-up call and spark a revival for the national team in future competitions. 

Two years after the Merah Putih reached the final against Thailand, Sakti’s charges finished fourth in Group B, with just four points with a 3-1 win against Timor Leste at home and a goalless draw against the Philippines. 

Indonesia opened the tournament with a narrow 0-1 away loss to Singapore, before suffering a 2-4 defeat to Thailand in Bangkok. 

Preparations for the tournament, however, were already far from ideal for Bima’s squad, after former coach Luis Milla cut ties with the team just a month before the tournament. 

Bima’s future with the squad also remains uncertain as his contract was only until the Suzuki Cup. 

“My contract is only for this AFF Suzuki Cup,” he said. “I only continued to work with what we built with Luis Milla before. For the future, I let the federation decide and I accept the consequences for all of this because this is my responsibility.”

But the former national team midfielder expressed hope that the lessons from their Suzuki Cup campaign will be taken to heart for the sake of future national teams and supporters of Indonesian football. 

“Before this press conferences, I met (Philippines coach) Sven-Goran Eriksson, he said, Indonesia football has a bright future ahead. So let’s find the best way to build our national team better than before,” said Bima.

“I’m so sorry that we can’t qualify (to the semifinal AFF 2018). But I really appreciate and I feel compassionate with the fans, with the big banner to Indonesia national team said:  “When you winning, we praise, when you lose, we still support you”. I believe that expresses a feeling from Indonesia people. I hope this can be our motivation and revival of our football.”