Tampines Face Tricky Young Lions Test
Garena Young Lions vs Tampines Rovers
(12 September, Tuesday, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Tampines Rovers head coach Jurgen Raab has cautioned against complacency when his side take on Garena Young Lions in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday night.
This is despite the Stags coming into this after thumping Hougang United 5-1 in a league encounter just three days ago.
“I was impressed with how the team has worked together and what they delivered was pleasing, considering how we haven’t played a league game in three weeks,” Raab said of the result.
“We went down 1-0 after four minutes but the reaction from the boys was superb.
“It was a good result in our battle for second with Home United, which is our target now.”
They now come up against a Young Lions side who narrowly lost 1-0 to leaders Albirex Niigata (S) in their last match and Raab has stressed the importance of respecting their opponents.
“I am never worried because I know every match is going to be tough,” said the former Young Lions coach.
“In order to win, we must be at our 100%. If we give only 80% (or lesser) and say we can beat them, it is wrong. We could see that Albirex really struggled to come away with the three points (against the Young Lions).”
“Hence, we have to work doubly hard if we want to get a positive result. We must come up with a better solution than what Albirex had.”
With one fewer day of rest compared to Vincent Subramaniam’s charges, Raab admits it is not ideal but is confident his players can cope with the rigours.
“It will not be easy especially after the match against Hougang as we only have two days for recovery,” said the German, who revealed that Khairul Amri and Shakir Hamzah will continue to miss out as they step up their recovery from injury.
“But we must manage. The Young Lions have an extra day of recovery but we just have to live with it. The players are in good condition but there might be some changes I have to make. Some fresh players will come in and if we continue this way, good results will come.”
Young Lions meanwhile put up a gutsy display as they matched the White Swans for most parts on Friday night but were eventually edged out.
Judging from the performance alone, Subramaniam is hopeful the developmental side can get something out of this game.
“We play Tampines next, another strong side in Singapore football, and we hope to put in the same gutsy performance as we did against Albirex,” he said.
“A win is something that has eluded us for some time but perhaps with some luck we can win or at least get a draw.”
But the 62-year-old insists there is still room for improvement for his team.
“There’s a lot of work ahead of us,” Subramaniam noted.
“In the league, the most important thing is consistency. We also want to get them fitter, polish on basics and put in the tactical things and work on their mental approach. They are not really raw but we need to work hard at polishing them.
“I have 18 players and used 14 against Albirex - perhaps I have to do some rotation as well. But let’s not forget Young Lions are not here to win the league, but to gain experience.
"I hope in future we can win more games but we still have to look at the developmental aspect and give those on the bench a chance to play.”
Garena Young Lions - LDDLL
08/09/17 Garena Young Lions 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
02/07/17 Geylang International 2-1 Garena Young Lions
28/06/17 Garena Young Lions 0-0 Warriors FC
22/06/17 Garena Young Lions 0-0 Balestier Khalsa
26/05/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 8-0 Garena Young Lions
Tampines Rovers - WLLLW
09/09/17 Tampines Rovers 5-1 Hougang United
19/08/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Tampines Rovers
13/08/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Tampines Rovers (RHB Singapore Cup)
10/08/17 Tampines Rovers 1-5 Albirex Niigata (S) (RHB Singapore Cup)
28/07/17 Tampines Rovers 2-0 Brunei DPMM
Head to Head (S.League)
23/04/17 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Garena Young Lions
15/10/16 Garena Young Lions 1-3 Tampines Rovers
14/06/16 Tampines Rovers 6-1 Garena Young Lions
03/04/16 Garena Young Lions 1-2 Tampines Rovers
27/09/15 Garena Young Lions 1-3 Tampines Rovers