Baihakki Hopeful Of Extending Unbeaten Streak
Warriors FC vs Garena Young Lions
(Saturday, 8 April, 7.30pm, Choa Chu Kang Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Warriors FC will be gunning for a fourth consecutive match without defeat in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when they entertain Garena Young Lions at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Saturday night.
In what was arguably their biggest test of the season so far, Razif Onn’s side managed to overcome Tampines Rovers in a narrow 1-0 win at Jurong West a week ago courtesy of Jordan Webb’s first-half strike against his former side.
While it was an important result for Warriors, vice-captain Baihakki Khaizan insists they cannot afford to rest on their laurels.
Instead, he believes the team should use this as a springboard to do even better as the season progresses.
“It was definitely a major boost for us, knowing that Tampines have always been one of the strongest teams in local football with the number of national players they have,” the 33-year-old said.
“But it's all over now, we have to look forward to Young Lions as well as the upcoming games. It's a good win but we want to get that going every week and hopefully it continues
because it's only going to get tougher.”
They remain one of the three sides still unbeaten in the league so far - the other two being defending champions Albirex Niigata (S) and Home United - and Baihakki is confident Warriors can carry this impressive form going forward.
Sharing that the morale in the team is ‘very positive’, the defender added: “I feel that this team has a lot to offer, but we don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on ourselves.
“In the long run, I'm sure we want to achieve something but we don’t want to get too carried away. It's a long season; we will have injuries and suspensions kicking in so we have to look at stabilising the team and hopefully we can maintain our performances week in week out.”
A graduate of the Young Lions system himself, Baihakki however feels it is a matter of time before the developmental side find their feet.
“They will always have their ups and downs,” he noted. “But they have all along been a team built for the long term and playing in the S.League is I feel, the best way for them to get exposed to competitive football.
“They also have external factors like NS (National Service) and school commitments . It’s not easy, we’ve all been through the same thing but I wish them the best of luck.”
Young Lions meanwhile come into this on the back of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Balestier Khalsa in their last match.
While they failed to come out with anything from that encounter, head coach V. Selvaraj has chosen to remain optimistic.
“I thought my boys could have done so much better. They have seen better days in them, in training and in other games as well,” said the former Warriors coach, after the defeat to the Tigers.
“On the bright side, we are now creating more chances than our first game, and are starting to make better decisions.”
Warriors FC - LWWDW
01/04/17 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Warriors FC
10/03/17 Warriors FC 1-1 Geylang International
28/02/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-2 Warriors FC
25/10/16 Warriors FC 5-1 Hougang United
14/10/16 Geylang International 2-1 Warriors FC
Garena Young Lions - LLLLL
02/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 1-0 Garena Young Lions
04/03/17 Garena Young Lions 0-5 Balestier Khalsa
27/02/17 Home United 6-1 Garena Young Lions
15/10/16 Garena Young Lions 1-3 Tampines Rovers
30/09/16 Home United 5-2 Garena Young Lions
Head to Head (S.League)
26/08/16 Warriors FC 5-2 Garena Young Lions
12/05/16 Garena Young Lions 3-1 Warriors FC
04/03/16 Warriors FC 2-0 Garena Young Lions
16/10/15 Garena Young Lions 2-1 Warriors FC
23/07/15 Warriors FC 0-2 Garena Young Lions