Caption: Md Hendra Azam Md Idris (L) being defended by Ak Fakharazzi Pg Hj Hassan during a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium. Md Hendra Azam is the only local player to have found the back of the net for DPMM FC this season. Picture: Yee Chun Leong
Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
DPMM FC will be looking to end the first round of the S.League on a positive note when they face off against the Garena Young Lions (Singapore national under-22 football team) tonight (7.30pm) at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
The Brunei side are in unfamiliar territory with only one win to their name and are coming off three consecutive losses to sit second from bottom of the nine-team standings.
Only the Young Lions are below them as they are still in search of their first point of the season.
DPMM FC coach Steve Kean is fully focused on getting a victory against a side that have never taken maximum points off them.
“It doesn't matter who we play now. We need a victory to boost morale and get us moving forward again. What we need to do is get points on the board,” said Kean in an interview with BruSports on Thursday.
“Because there are many games which we have played and deserved more.
“But the stats are there. We need to win more and control games more. That is what we have been working on all week,” added the Scotsman after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
DPMM FC are coming off a confidence boosting 3-1 win against the Brunei SEA Games squad in a friendly match on Saturday.
Kean felt it was exactly what his charges needed ahead of the encounter.
“We organised a game against our SEA Games team and more than the result was the style of play that all young teams have and that was the reason we wanted to play them,” said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
“They are very much like the Young Lions… energetic. enthusiastic. run a lot and close you down very quickly. That was good a exercise and we had a really good week in training.
“That gave us confidence. After that victory we could see the confidence flooding back into the session. We just need to get points on the board and we are convinced we can move forward again,” added Kean.
Brunei’s only professional football team failed to find the back of the net in open play in their last three games with their last goal coming from the penalty spot against Balestier Khalsa FC on April 7.
When asked if that is a cause for concern, Kean replied: “I think what happens now is that teams play four up against us. Normally they will come to Brunei and play one or two up.
“But now they are more offensive and that means we need to defend more. The challenge is that after we win ball is whether we can string enough passes together to move team up the pitch in transition.
“It is always a concern when you are not winning matches. The key is identifying what we need to do better. Good thing about the past two weeks is that we have had lots of practice,” added the 49-year-old.
Meanwhile, it was reported earlier in the week that Kean was linked with a move to coach the Newcastle Jets in the A-League. However, Ernie Merrick has since been announced as the new coach.
“I think it is that time of the season season when (former DPMM FC striker) Roy (O’Donovan) signs and they didn't have a coach,” said Kean.
“I’m assuming Roy was asked an opinion on a coach and he probably mentioned my name. I'm contracted here and I’m very happy here.
“I still got 20 months left on my contract and for the past three years we have always been in the top-3 and have been to three cup finals. We just need to make sure we get back running again and get club moving forward again,” he concluded.