Kean Believes Wasps Can Bounce Back
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Brunei DPMM
(16 June, Friday, 8.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Brunei DPMM will be looking to return to winning ways in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when they face the unbeaten Albirex Niigata (S) at the Jurong East Stadium on Friday night.
Prior to the international break, the Sultanate’s only professional club had gone on a five-match winless run where they yielded just one point - which came against Garena Young Lions.
They fell to a heavy 9-3 defeat to second-placed Home United in their last league fixture as they fell to a Faris Ramli-inspired Protectors side.
In spite of that, DPMM head coach Steve Kean is confident his charges can bounce back with a victory against the White Swans.
“It (Training) has been good,” the Scot told BruSports News in an interview.
“We have been training in the evenings after the players break their fast. The temperature is normally lower with a little bit of rain.”
“The horrible session is the first one when you just get back, but what we had to do was to get it out of the system of the players and get the momentum forward again.
“We were a bit depressed but it is my job to pick them up and say ‘Okay, we start the season again in the next game.’ We can only affect the future and not the past.”
While he admits this fixture will be a tough one, Kean believes his side can match Albirex and put up a good fight.
“We have to play everybody twice more so it doesn’t matter when you play them,” he said. “Maybe teams will think we are going to be easier to play against and underestimate us.
“But we will go out and do what we are good at which is to keep the ball. (In the first meeting) up until they scored we were the better team. They were fortunate they won so there is no gulf between both teams even though they are unbeaten.
“We don’t become a bad team overnight and the players are just lacking confidence (at the moment).”
Albirex on the other hand, come into this on a good run of form, having chalked up five straight wins and have yet to lose a game in the league.
Forward Tsubasa Sano has been in red-hot form, scoring five goals in their 8-0 victory over the Young Lions the last time out to lead the goalscoring charts with 15 goals after ten games played.
The White Swans kept up their match fitness during the international break as they played a number of friendlies against different opponents. They most recently edged the Myanmar national team 1-0, courtesy of midfielder Kento Nagasaki’s second-half freekick.
With second-placed Home not in league action this week, Albirex can establish a eight-point lead at the summit if they win here.
Albirex Niigata (S) - WWWWW
26/05/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 8-0 Garena Young Lions
21/05/17 Tampines Rovers 1-4 Albirex Niigata (S)
11/05/17 Geylang International 0-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
29/04/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Warriors FC
21/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-3 Albirex Niigata (S)
Brunei DPMM - LLLDL
25/05/17 Home United 9-3 Brunei DPMM
13/05/17 Garena Young Lions 0-0 Brunei DPMM
28/04/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Tampines Rovers
20/04/17 Geylang International 2-0 Brunei DPMM
15/04/17 Brunei DPMM 3-5 Warriors FC
Head to Head (S.League)
09/03/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Brunei DPMM
05/08/16 Brunei DPMM 2-1 Albirex Niigata (S)
22/04/16 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
13/02/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-2 Brunei DPMM
16/09/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-0 Brunei DPMM