Tigers Hopeful Of Improved Attacking Display
Balestier Khalsa vs Warriors FC
(17 August, Thursday, 7.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Balestier Khalsa will be seeking for better fortunes in the attacking department when they face Warriors FC in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League encounter at Toa Payoh Stadium on Thursday night.
With just two wins and two draws to their name, the Toa Payoh-based club are currently seventh in the league standings with a paltry tally of just seven goals this season.
But despite their woes in attack, head coach Marko Kraljevic feels that their previous league match was a morale booster for the team. The Tigers valiantly held Hougang United to a goalless draw at end July before they league took a break for the RHB Singapore Cup.
Both Balestier and Warriors had an extended rest as the two had been knocked out of the Cup competition, losing to Nagaworld FC and Boeung Ket FC respectively in the Preliminary Round.
“I am happy with our team’s last performance in the league. We played well as a unit and we keep clean sheet against Hougang,” said Kraljevic.
“We are not having a good season. But I feel some matches we did play well but we just could not score. First we need to keep a clean sheet so that our confidence level goes up and then we can focus on collecting more points.”
While Kraljevic will be without Hanafi Akbar who is currently with the Singapore U23 National Team at the Southeast Asian Games in Malaysia, they will welcome back Myanmarese Kyaw Zayar Win and Hanafi Salleh from a two-match suspension.
Although Kraljevic has been observing his opponent’s style of play, he has reiterated the need for his team to get into the correct position in the final third as they need the goals to win matches.
“I have been watching Warriors play the last few games. But we need to come to this position (attacking) to hurt them,” explained the former Balestier and Jurong FC player.
“We need to move forward and attack. They are quite good in attacking but we need to focus on our team and hope we can improve and score goals.
“We are out of many competitions and now we need to pick up points. For us to catch up with Hougang (sixth position on 20 points) is tough. But we can aim to get better and improve our performance.”
As for Warriors, they are having a topsy-turvy season. They started the campaign brightly and were putting pressure on the title challengers before they experienced a slump and slid down the standings.
They are now fourth in the league on 28 points, two points behind Home United who have two games in hand.
Although they narrowly won 1-0 in their previous league match against Hougang, head coach Razif Onn was pleased with what he saw on the pitch.
“I was generally happy with the performance and it was good to get the three points,” said Razif.
“After we got the early goal, we found ourselves under pressure as Hougang started to come at us but fortunately we could control them.
“We have now equalled our point tally from 2016 which was 28 and naturally I feel delighted,” added the veteran coach.
Balestier Khalsa - LLWLD
29/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-0 Hougang United
26/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Balestier Khalsa
14/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Tampines Rovers (The New Paper League Cup)
11/07/17 Brunei DPMM 3-0 Balestier Khalsa (The New Paper League Cup)
08/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-2 Geylang International
Warriors FC - WLDLW
04/08/17 Hougang United 0-1 Warriors FC
29/07/17 Warriors FC 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
25/07/17 Home United 1-1 Warriors FC
21/07/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)
18/07/17 Brunei DPMM 1-5 Warriors FC
Head to Head (S.League)
19/05/17 Warriors FC 1-0 Balestier Khalsa
28/02/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Warriors FC
22/09/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Warriors FC
20/05/16 Warriors FC 1-1 Balestier Khalsa
11/03/16 Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Warriors FC