DPMM Determined To Halt Rut
Brunei DPMM vs Warriors FC
(Saturday, 15 April, 8.15pm, Bandar Seri Begawan)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Having registered just one win in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League so far, Brunei DPMM will be determined to put an end to that run when they host Warriors FC in Bandar Seri Begawan on Sunday night.
The Wasps have lost three of their four matches played, falling to Home United (1-3), Albirex Niigata (S) (0-2) and Balestier Khalsa (1-2) as they lie second from bottom in a nine-team S.League.
With only four scored and already seven leaked on the other end, the Scot is under no illusion that his team has to improve.
“With the exception of our 2-0 win against Hougang United where we kept a clean sheet, we’ve been defensively poor this year,” Kean lamented.
“Statistically, it means nothing for us at the moment; the amount of shots on target to goals is poor. We need to get more blocks, be much more stubborn in defending because that's really what’s costing us at the moment.”
Kean also believes better supply has to be provided in order for his strikers Rafael Ramazotti and Billy Mehmet to find the net.
“When you have Rafael Ramazotti and Mehmet upfront, you have to give them service,” he said.
“Our crossing was poor, the wingbacks have to get forward more and get into the final third of the pitch because I think it does become predictable when we keep slinging the ball in from the middle.
“It has to be in final third when we eventually get behind the defence and if we can get up the sides and behind the fullbacks. That’s where Ramazotti, Mehmet and Azwan Ali can come from the back - that's a different prospect altogether.”
With DPMM’s first-choice goalkeeper Wardun Yussof out for the past two matches due to an ankle injury, Alizanda Sitom got thrust into action where he featured against Hougang and Balestier.
Having impressed over the two games, Kean was effusive in his praise for the 47-year-old shotstopper and admits it is giving him a pleasant selection headache.
“He's a good goalkeeper and has done well (whenever called upon),” he said. “He's fast and agile and although he’s a little smaller than Wardun, he’s good for someone of his age.
“He's a genuine contender to push Wardun all the way and it's up to Wardun when he gets back in again - he has to keep his standards high. I believe that even if you're old but fit enough, you should be able to play as well.”
Despite the current form, Kean is unfazed and is confident that DPMM have to ability to recover from their early season slump.
“We are a way better side than this and we are too good a team to perform like that week in week out,” he said.
“What we need to do now is to get back to the training ground, improve on the way we cross and move the ball around. We also have to (learn to) play with a different dimension. We are normally not like that as we give defences several problems.
“I'm sure we will bounce back.”
In contrast, Warriors are unbeaten after the same number of games played, with three wins and one draw to their name.
The nine-time league champions had to overturn a two-goal deficit to beat Garena Young Lions 4-3 the last time out as forward Joel Tshibamba broke his duck in that game with a second-half brace.
Three points here will therefore be imperative if Warriors want to keep their place at the top and it is a fact not lost on head coach Razif Onn.
Added the 63-year-old: “We need to do more defensively to win championships, but if we can show our second-half spirit (against Young Lions) in future games, we will do well.”
DPMM will however be without the services of Azwan Salleh who is suspended after his dismissal against Balestier.
Suspension: Azwan Salleh (Brunei DPMM)
Brunei DPMM - LLLWL
07/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 2-1 Brunei DPMM
02/04/17 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Hougang United
09/03/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Brunei DPMM
03/03/17 Brunei DPMM 1-3 Home United
26/10/16 Balestier Khalsa 2-0 Brunei DPMM
Warriors FC - WWDWW
08/04/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Garena Young Lions
01/04/17 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Warriors FC
10/03/17 Warriors FC 1-1 Geylang International
28/02/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Warriors FC
25/10/16 Warriors FC 5-1 Hougang United
Head to Head (S.League)
19/08/16 Brunei DPMM 3-0 Warriors FC
05/05/16 Warriors FC 1-1 Brunei DPMM
27/02/16 Brunei DPMM 3-1 Warriors FC
06/11/15 Warriors FC 1-3 Brunei DPMM
19/08/15 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Warriors FC