Confident Stags Playing With Freedom, Says Son
Tampines Rovers vs Geylang International
(29 June, Thursday, 7.30pm, Jurong West Stadium)
Written by: Shawn Lim
A confident Tampines Rovers will look to extend their unbeaten run in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when they welcome rivals Geylang International at the Jurong West Stadium on Thursday night.
The Stags, who are currently on a three-game winning run and have four wins in their last five league matches, are a team playing with confidence according to midfielder Son Yong Chan.
“Winning consecutively definitely boosts the team’s morale and the atmosphere in the dressing room is a very positive one,” explained Son.
“However, we still need work hard to continue getting positive results. Every game in S.League is a challenge, so we cannot be complacent and we have to approach each game with a good mindset each time.
Another reason for Tampines’ current upbeat mood is the return of striker Fazrul Nawaz from a long-term injury layoff and left-sided player Hafiz Sujad who has re-signed with the Stags after returning from his stint in Thailand.
For Son, the addition of the two Singapore internationals midway through the season has given the team a second wind and the Korean is eager to learn and play with them.
“Fazrul and Hafiz are one of the best strikers and midfielders in Singapore, so we have more options in attacking,” said the 26-year-old.
“They are hardworking and skillful players, so there are many things to learn from them. I am also looking forward to playing with them on a daily basis.”
Son has formed a perfect understanding with playmaker Shahdan Sulaiman in the middle of the park for the Stags and he has nothing but praise for the Singapore international.
“My partnership with Shahdan is perfect, we complement each other very well,” explained the Korean.
“Since he is an attacking player and I'm in a more defensive role, the teamwork and understanding is really good. He always encourages me and gives me good advice. I look up to him.”
Meanwhile, Geylang has a new man in the dugout, albeit an interim one, as assistant coach Noor Ali has taken over the first team coaching duties from Hasrin Jailani.
Noor Ali took charge of his first game for the Eagles in their RHB Singapore Cup tie against invitee Global Cebu FC, mounting an incredible comeback to draw 4-4 after extra-time before losing on penalties.
The former Singapore international will be hoping his charges can display the same resilience against the Stags and arrest their troubling form in the S.League, where they have only one win in their last four games.
Geylang will have no suspension to contend with, while Fazli Ayob will miss out after picking up his fourth yellow of the season.
Suspension: Fazli Ayob (Tampines Rovers)
Tampines Rovers - WLWWW
22/06/17 Warriors FC 0-1 Tampines Rovers
17/06/17 Tampines Rovers 3-1 Balestier Khalsa
25/05/17 Hougang United 0-3 Tampines Rovers
21/05/17 Tampines Rovers 1-4 Albirex Niigata (S)
12/05/17 Tampines Rovers 3-2 Home United
Geylang International - LDWLL
21/06/17 Geylang International 4-4 Global Cebu FC (PHI) (Global win 3-2 on penalties) (RHB Singapore Cup)
16/06/17 Geylang International 0-2 Warriors FC
26/05/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Geylang International
20/05/17 Geylang International 1-1 Hougang United
11/05/17 Geylang International 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
Head to Head (S.League)
08/04/17 Geylang International 0-4 Tampines Rovers
04/08/16 Tampines Rovers 2-1 Geylang International
21/04/16 Geylang International 0-1 Tampines Rovers
15/02/16 Tampines Rovers 3-3 Geylang International
20/10/15 Geylang International 1-4 Tampines Rovers