Yee Chun Leong
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
DPMM FC are unfazed by the unbeaten Albirex Niigata FC (S) when they meet in the S.League tonight at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore.
The Brunei side are currently second from bottom in the nine-team table with one win and a draw to their name after nine matches.
In contrast, leaders Albirex have won nine and drawn one of their 10 games so far.
Despite the difference in the standings, DPMM FC coach Steve Kean believes they can put up a strong challenge against the defending champions.
“We have to play everybody twice more so it doesn’t matter when you play them. Maybe teams will think we are going to be easier to play against and underestimate us,” said Kean in an interview with BruSports earlier in the week.
“But we will go out and do what we are good at which is to keep the ball. (In the first meeting) up until they scored, we were the better team.
“They were fortunate they won so there is no gulf between both teams eventhough they are unbeaten,” he added.
“We don’t become a bad team overnight and the players are just lacking confidence (at the moment),” continued the Scotsman.
The Brunei side are coming off their largest defeat ever losing 9-3 to Home United FC at the Bishan Stadium on May 25.
Kean assured that they are ready for the fixture against the Japanese side, who are coming off a 8-0 win over the Garena Young Lions a day later.
“It has been good. We have been training in the evenings after the players break their fast. The temperature is normally lower with a little bit of rain,” said the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
“The horrible session is the first one when you just get back, but we had to do was to get it out of the system of the players and get the momentum forward again,” he added.
“We were a bit depressed but it is my job to pick them up and say ‘Okay, we start the season again in the next game’. We can only affect the future and not the past,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, new signings Daud Gazale and Vincent Salas are set to make their debut for the Brunei side tonight while Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti is out with injury.
DPMM FC have also signed local players Md Hazirul Rani Metusin (MS ABDB) and Hazwan Hamzah (Indera SC).
The other game tonight will see Geylang International FC and Warriors FC do battle at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Both games will kick off at 8.30pm.