Warriors Plot Victory To Reignite Season
Warriors FC vs Hougang United
(Thursday, 11 May, 7.30pm, Choa Chu Kang Stadium)
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Warriors FC are looking to return to winning ways in the 2017 Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League when they entertain Hougang United at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Thursday night.
They suffered their first defeat in seven league games in a 4-2 loss to leaders Albirex Niigata (S) at Jurong East the last time out, with Jordan Webb and Shahril Ishak netting for the Warriors.
It was a fair result according to Warriors head coach Razif Onn who believes three points against the Cheetahs is imperative if they are to keep pace at the top.
“If you lose to a team who plays good football, that's fine and I accept the result,” he said.
“We need the three points very badly after the loss to Albirex in order to compete and get into the top three position in the S.League. If we were to falter against Hougang, that's not going to be good for us especially when we have come to the end of the first round of matches.”
Echoing Razif’s sentiments is defender Hafiz Osman, who has no doubt the nine-time league champions have the quality to bounce back.
“The boys did well against a very good side in Albirex who are the defending champions,” the 34-year-old added.
“We tried to mount a comeback but it didn’t happen. The game is over now and we have to look forward to the next game against Hougang.”
“With the team we have, we have every chance. I'm confident the team will do well and make up for the previous loss. We are ready to work hard to earn that three points.”
While it is still early days, Hafiz - whose backline has already conceded 14 times from seven matches - is optimistic that they can still challenge for the title.
“We have been letting in goals but we have been scoring at the other end too. At the end of the day, it’s the three points that matters,” he said.
“For the time being, yes, we are still in the race to be the league champions because it's only the first round. We just have to keep working hard to maintain our form and to be more consistent throughout the season.
“That's the key to becoming champions.”
Razif will be without defender Baihakki Khaizan who is suspended for the tie against Philippe Aw’s charges, but the 63-year-old says he has players who can come in and do a job.
“Even without Baihakki, I have a few able replacements,” he shared.
“Hafiz Osman will be back from suspension and we have Kento Fukuda and Syaqir Sulaiman who can play in the middle of defence, so that’s options I have. I won’t say who will play though because I have to be fair to all my players.”
Suspension: Baihakki Khaizan (Warriors FC)
Warriors FC - WWWDL
29/04/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 4-2 Warriors FC
22/04/17 Warriors FC 2-2 Home United
15/04/17 Brunei DPMM 3-5 Warriors FC
08/04/17 Warriors FC 4-3 Garena Young Lions
01/04/17 Tampines Rovers 0-1 Warriors FC
Hougang United - WLLLW
27/04/17 Hougang United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa
14/04/17 Albirex Niigata (S) 2-0 Hougang United
09/04/17 Hougang United 0-2 Home United
02/04/17 Brunei DPMM 2-0 Hougang United
11/03/17 Hougang United 2-0 Garena Young Lions
Head to Head (S.League)
25/10/16 Warriors FC 5-1 Hougang United
23/06/16 Hougang United 1-3 Warriors FC
14/04/16 Warriors FC 0-1 Hougang United
26/10/15 Warriors FC 2-0 Hougang United
04/08/15 Hougang United 4-1 Warriors FC