Yoshinaga Urges Charges To Continue Momentum
Albirex Niigata (S) vs Garena Young Lions
(26 May, Friday, 7.30pm, Jurong East Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Albirex Niigata (S) will be looking to extend their unbeaten run in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League to ten games when they entertain Garena Young Lions at the Jurong East Stadium on Friday night.
The leaders beat Tampines Rovers 4-1 the last time out, with Tsubasa Sano and Naofumi Tanaka getting a brace each to render Son Yong Chan’s goal inconsequential.- a result which saw them go five points clear of second-placed Home United.
While he was delighted with the victory, Albirex head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga insists they cannot rest on their laurels just yet.
“The team was pleased after we won the Tampines game,” said the 49-year-old.
“But since there are still a lot of points to be won during the course of the season, we have to switch our attention away from the Tampines win and prepare for the next game quickly.”
With eight wins and one draw so far, the White Swans look unstoppable at the moment but Yoshinaga is preferring not to look at the statistics and wants to take it ‘a game at a time’.
“We are not very concerned about the record,” the 49-year-old said.
“We will just continue to prepare well and put in effort in training to keep winning the games that come our way.”
Having pinpointed his players’ positioning on the pitch as an area for improvement, Yoshinaga is refusing to take the Young Lions lightly. This is despite the fact that their opponents on Friday night lie in ninth and only have a point to their name.
“I can see that the Young Lions have been putting up a great fight over their last few games,” he noted.
“I am therefore working very hard especially in our defence. It is necessary to forget the score of the previous match and approach each game with a new mentality.”
On the other hand, the Young Lions have produced encouraging performances of late and were rewarded with their first points of the season, holding 2015 S.League winners Brunei DPMM to a goalless draw two matches ago.
The developmental side however have had their head coach replaced, with Richard Tardy replacing former Singapore international V. Selvaraj who announced his departure due to family reasons last week.
Tardy will be without the services of midfielder Muhelmy Suhaimi who netted his team’s sole goal against Home United in their 2-1 defeat the last time out.
Suspension: Muhelmy Suhaimi (Garena Young Lions)
Albirex Niigata (S) - WWWWW
21/05/16 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)
14/04/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United
Garena Young Lions - LLLDL
21/05/17 Garena Young Lions 1-2 Home United
13/05/17 Garena Young Lions 0-0 Brunei DPMM
23/04/17 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Garena Young Lions
15/04/17 Garena Young Lions 0-2 Geylang International
08/04/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Garena Young Lions
Head to Head (S.League)
04/03/17 Garena Young Lions 0-5 Albirex Niigata (S)
11/08/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-0 Garena Young Lions
28/04/16 Albirex Niigata (S) 3-0 Garena Young Lions
20/02/16 Garena Young Lions 0-5 Albirex Niigata (S)
02/11/15 Albirex Niigata (S) 0-1 Garena Young Lions