Egy calls on Indonesia to believe they can end 25-year wait to win AFF Suzuki Cup

They have been here before -- five times in fact. But it is also a last step they have never been able to take since the first AFF Suzuki Cup in 1996.

As Indonesia prepare to take on Thailand in the 2020 Suzuki Cup final -- starting with Wednesday's first leg at Singapore's National Stadium -- they will head into the tie with the record of having lost all five of their previous deciders.

- Polking insists past counts for nothing in Suzuki Cup final
- After losing AFF crown, where do Vietnam go from here?
- Don't miss The John Dykes Show, with all new episodes each Friday on Disney+ Hotstar. Click here to join the conversation!

Indonesia's status as the tournament's perennial bridesmaid has almost evolved into a running joke but, as they once again find themselves tantalisingly close to ending 25 years of hurt and disappointment, a rallying cry of self-belief has been issued.

"We have failed five times before. Now is a big chance (to rectify the record)," said Indonesia attacker Egy Maulana. He missed their first five games due to club commitments but scored on his tournament bow after coming on as a substitute in their last game -- a 4-2 semifinal second leg win over Singapore.

"We know it's not just about the talk and we need to work hard. We need to believe in ourselves that we're going to win the final. Some might think Thailand are a little bit stronger than us but I'm not afraid.

"If we believe in ourselves, there is nothing that is impossible. We are ready and motivated to become champions this time."

Indonesia will benefit from the presence of a coach who has tasted success many times throughout his career in Shin Tae-yong, who led South Korea at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and even masterminded a 2-0 win over then-champions Germany.

As a player, Shin won six South Korean league titles and Asia's premier club competition -- now the AFC Champions League -- while he also coached his country to victory in the EAFF Championship, East Asia's equivalent to the Suzuki Cup, in 2017.

"Let me be honest -- I would love for us to win it, but winning doesn't just happen. Becoming the champions happen when you do your best," said Shin.

"I have been a champion more than 20 times. From this experience, I will try to (share) this mentality with the players to try and make Indonesia the champions.

"Thailand are strong with many players of good quality. I have nothing negative to say about them, but football is unpredictable so we'll just have to see what happens on the day."