Optimistic Stags Keen To Extend Good Form
Tampines Rovers vs Garena Young Lions
(Sunday, 23 April, 7.30pm, Jurong West Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Tampines Rovers will be looking to extend their winning run in all competitions to three games when they entertain Garena Young Lions in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League at the Jurong West Stadium on Sunday night.
The Stags kept alive their slim hopes of AFC Cup progression with a 3-1 victory over Malaysian outfit Felda United on Wednesday as Khairul Amri came off the bench to find the twice when the scores were tied at 1-all.
Buoyed by that result, Tampines head coach Juergen Raab is pleased with how his players have responded.
Prior to bouncing back with a 4-0 victory over Geylang International, the five-time league champions had to endure a three-match winless spell where a defeat to Warriors FC in the S.League was sandwiched between two losses to Hanoi FC in the AFC Cup.
“Every match you must look at it differently,” said the German. “I’m satisfied with the performance from the players.
“Especially after the 1-0 defeat to Warriors, the team has shown a good reaction and I think they have understood what is necessary to win matches.
“We must work as a team; everyone must work for the defence. If we win the ball, we want to play football and that’s what I’ve seen from the last three matches. If we bring these basics, I’m confident we can play a very good style of football.”
Nevertheless, Raab is gunning for maximum points to keep pace with the likes of Home United and Albirex Niigata (S) in the table.
“A win is always a nice thing,” said the 58-year-old. “It gives us confidence and it’s a confirmation of a good performance.
“We go into every match wanting to win. Every win is important as we have a target to stay at the top of the table and as a result, we want to win against Young Lions.”
Raab however feels the Young Lions are a team who have yet to reach their full potential and they cannot be taken lightly.
“It’s a very difficult game for us as Young Lions haven’t won so far,” warned the German. “Many people expect that we will have no problems winning this game.
“But I’ve seen Young Lions play and I believe they are capable of getting four to six points at least. The scores are not reflecting the performances of the Young Lions team.”
In the treatment room, defender and captain Madhu Mohana remains sidelined due to a hamstring injury but it remains to be seen if Raab will opt to rotate his side with games against Brunei DPMM and Ceres Negros FC coming after this.
Tampines Rovers - LLLWW
19/04/17 Felda United 1-3 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
08/04/17 Geylang International 0-4 Tampines Rovers
04/04/17 Tampines Rovers 1-2 Hanoi FC (AFC Cup)
01/04/17 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Warriors FC
15/03/17 Hanoi FC 4-0 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
Garena Young Lions - LLLLL
15/04/17 Garena Young Lions 0-2 Geylang International
08/04/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Garena Young Lions
02/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Garena Young Lions
11/03/17 Hougang United 2-0 Garena Young Lions
04/03/17 Garena Young Lions 0-5 Albirex Niigata (S)
Head to Head (S.League)
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
19/09/15 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Garena Young Lions