Aw Wants Cheetahs To Show Ruthlessness
Hougang United vs Home United
(Sunday, 9 April, 7.30pm, Hougang Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Hougang United will be looking to return to winning ways in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when they host Home United at the Hougang Stadium on Sunday night.
The Cheetahs were on the end of a 2-0 reverse by Brunei DPMM the last time out, as first-half strikes from Billy Mehmet and Hendra Azam consigned Philippe Aw’s side to defeat.
Reflecting on their games played so far, Aw wants his charges to be more ruthless in front of goal.
“We can definitely do better,” the 39-year-old admitted. “We need to be more clinical and take our chances.
“In the two defeats to (Tampines Rovers and DPMM), we had chances at crucial times of each match (but failed to convert them). We have to finish our chances when they are there and also not concede at crucial times.”
Results have been mixed for Hougang so far this season, having registered two wins and two losses as they lie fourth in a nine-team league.
Aw is however refusing to ring the alarm bells just yet, believing that it is still early days in the league.
“We've only played four matches and the season is a long one,” he said. “It will be good to get a win but it's not do or die.
Having done his homework on their opponents on Sunday night, the former Home coach feels that the Protectors possess a ‘really strong’ squad this season but is hopeful they can come away with something.
“They (Home) have replaced many young players with seasoned national team players like Hassan Sunny, Izzdin (Shafiq), Hariss Harun and Afiq Yunos,” Aw noted.
“Offensively, they are dangerous with Stipe (Plazibat) and Faris Ramli in good form.
“We need to defend well as a team and take our chances which I'm confident we can create.”
Home on the other hand, come into this on the back of a 5-4 victory over Vietnam's Than Quang Ninh in the AFC Cup on Wednesday in what was their third game in eight days.
Forward Stipe Plazibat bagged four goals, while the other goal was scored by Singapore international Khairul Nizam as they took a huge step towards qualifying for the next round of the competition.
In the league, they let slip a two-goal lead as they could only draw 2-2 with defending league champions Albirex Niigata (S) over a week ago.
Captain and first-choice goalkeeper Hassan Sunny remains a doubt with a rib injury suffered early last week, but head coach Aidil Sharin will be able to call upon the services of midfielders Hariss Harun and Song Uiyoung.
Both Hariss and Song did not feature against Than Quang Ninh as they were ineligible for the group stage and suspended after accumulating two yellow cards respectively.
Hougang United - LWLWL
02/04/17 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Hougang United
11/03/17 Hougang United 2-0 Garena Young Lions
03/03/17 Tampines Rovers 2-1 Hougang United
27/02/17 Hougang United 2-0 Geylang International
25/10/16 Warriors FC 5-1 Hougang United
Home United - WWWDW
05/04/17 Than Quang Ninh 4-5 Home United (AFC Cup)
01/04/17 Home United 2-2 Albirex Niigata (S)
14/03/17 Home United 3-2 Than Quang Ninh (AFC Cup)
03/03/17 Brunei DPMM 1-3 Home United
27/02/17 Home United 6-1 Garena Young Lions
Head to Head (S.League)
12/08/16 Hougang United 4-2 Home United
29/04/16 Home United 3-2 Hougang United
18/02/16 Hougang United 1-0 Home United
17/09/15 Hougang United 0-1 Home United
14/05/15 Home United 4-0 Hougang United