Malaysia men's singles head coach Misbun Sidek did not dismiss the possibility that the 2018 Thomas Cup, taking place from March 20 to 27 in Bangkok, Thailand, would be his last involvement with the national team.
Therefore, the former national player, who rejoined the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) last June, is hoping to see Malaysia lift the coveted Thomas Cup for the first time since 1992 before he retires.
"Yes, maybe [it will be] my last. That is why I hope that the national team can create a surprise," he told reporters at the KLIA2 before departing for Bangkok on Thursday.
"But even if I retire as a coach, I will certainly hope that the Malaysian shuttlers will succeed at every edition of the Thomas Cup and see that Malaysia emerge as champions.
"With the preparations that we have made over the past several months, I see that the team members are highly spirited.
"I hope all the singles players as well as the doubles can work together to realise the dream of ending the 26-year drought without the trophy."
The Thomas Cup squad this time is headed by national badminton ace Lee Chong Wei alongside singles shuttlers Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin, Lee Zii Jia, and Leong Jun Hao.
The men's doubles comprise Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, and Teo Ee Yi-Arif Abdul Latif.
Commenting on challenges posed by defending champions Denmark, Russia and Algeria in Group D, Misbun insisted Malaysia cannot take any opponents lightly.
"The competition this time appears to be easy, but the fact is that it is a heavy responsibility.
"Every nation will certainly field their best players to emerge as the champions in this edition," he added.
For the record, Malaysia lost to Denmark 2-3 in the semi-finals of the 2016 edition in Kunshan, China, thus failing to repeat the 2014 success of reaching the final in New Delhi, India.