Former Uzbekistan midfield general Mirdjalal Kasimov has found out that his current role as an assistant coach for the Uzbek national senior and U-23 teams does have its constraints.
Having once pulled the strings for his team from the middle of the park, the 36-year-old now finds himself restricted to only a small working area during matches.
"The main difference between coaching and playing is that I only get to work within the borders of the technical zone now!" quipped the ex-Uzbekistan skipper on Monday after a training session for his team at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium.
"Unfortunately, I cannot leave that small area during the game," he added.
The scorer of two goals at the 2004 AFC Asian Cup in China, Kasimov called time on his international career a year later after Uzbekistan’s controversial defeat to Bahrain in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers and retired as a player at the end of the 2006 Uzbek league season.
The decision to hang up his boots did not come easily for Kasimov but he remains philosophical about his decision to quit as a player as he helps to prepare the side for their AFC Asian Cup Group C campaign in Kuala Lumpur.
"Of course it was hard to give up playing football but that’s just life," he said.
"All things must end and when somebody is starting his career, somebody is finishing his career.
"Now that I have finished as a player, I am focused on my new job as a coach."
Uzbekistan are fielding a relatively young side for this year’s competition, which begins on Wednesday when they face Iran in their Group C opener.
However, Kasimov still feel that they have the potential to surpass their quarter-final appearance at the last tournament in China.
"I think this is a very good team that we have now," he said
"There is a lot of strong talent here and a lot of potential particularly with so many young players from the Olympic team here.
"They certainly have a good chance to reach the top and God alone knows how far they will eventually go.
"And I don’t that we are lacking in leadership either because we have a lot of good players who can lead the team including Server Djeparov, Maksim Shatskikh and Pavel Bugalo."