Caption: Azwan Ali Rahman (R) takes a shot during a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium. Picture: Yee Chun Leong
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
DPMM FC are in search of their first win in the S.League when they host Hougang United FC tonight (8.15pm) at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
The Brunei side dropped their opening two games losing 3-1 and 2-0 to Home United FC and Albirex Niigata FC (S) respectively.
They are now 10 points adrift leaders Albirex, who came back from two goals down to draw 2-2 against the Protectors at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore last night.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean emphasised the importance of the encounter against the Cheetahs.
“Every home game is a must win if we want to win the title and I think we are good enough to win the title,” said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.
“We had a disappointing start but we haven't played badly. We were in total control, in my opinion, for both games.
“if we want to start to get ourselves up the league and put a serious challenge, we can’t let them get more points from us as we don’t play a massive amount of games in the S.League,” he added.
“From that perspective it is a must win game but there is still a long way to go in the season.
“I'm confident just like in the last three years we will be high up come end of the season,” continued the Scotsman.
Caption: DPMM FC coach Steve Kean requires his charges to be better defensively and be more ruthless inside the box. Picture: Yee Chun Leong
DPMM FC have had plenty of time to iron out their problems especially at the defensive end considering they conceded five goals from only seven shots on target.
“We have done lots of sessions. Normally we would have days off but we had a lot of work to do,” said Kean.
“Sometimes when you lose games early on (in the season) it gives you extended time to work on things on the training ground.
“Credit to the players as every single day they have come in and worked very hard.
“We need to win back our confidence knowing we can defend not only as a back unit and goalkeeper but as a whole team defending better,” he added.
“The stats were horrific as there were only seven shots on target but five goals against. It didn't take too long for me to sit down and scratch my head and wonder on what to work on.
“We had to get back to basics of defending, make sure to get the organisation behind the ball especially when attacking and not get done with any silly counterattacks,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
Caption: Hougang United FC coach Philippe Aw (C) expects a tough outing against DPMM FC tonight. Picture: Courtesy of Ortus Media
On the other hand, Hougang United have managed two wins and a loss in their opening three games under new coach Philippe Aw.
The former Home United coach says that they are still adjusting and is expecting a tough outing against the hosts.
“It won't be easy as we are a new team. I'm new and trying to put new ideas into the club so it will take some time,” said Aw in an interview with BruSports when met on Friday night.
“Let's be honest, they were unlucky to lose to Home United. With the eight chances, it was unfortunate that every chance they shot on goal, Hassan Sunny was there.
“For the second game, Albirex are a good team and to lose to them at Jurong East Stadium... out of the whole league almost everybody goes there and doesn’t get a result,” he added.
When asked on what to watch out for against the Brunei side, Aw replied: “We need to be ready. Both (Rafael) Ramazotti and Billy Mehmet are good players and will score goals.
“We need to defend properly first before talk about attacking. We need to make sure we can stop them first.
“We also want to play entertaining football. Fans can expect us to come out and play good football and make it exciting for them,” he concluded.