Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
Friday, March 1, 2013
DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic believes that tonight's Singapore League (S-League) match against Hougang United will be a test of his new signings' compatibility with the local players.
Playing one week after their 0-0 opener against Home United FC, the Croatian yesterday said that a win at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas tonight would be important to prove that the new signings are gelling well together with the squad.
"Looking from the game against Home United last week, the four new imports still need to coordinate. I know that it is not going to be easy. We need time for them to gel together with the team. We will see how they do tomorrow."
Last season's runner-up DPMM FC failed to find the back of the net against Home United at the Bishan Stadium in Singapore on Thursday.
"Hougang made a big surprise by defeating big teams last season except DPMM FC. Hougang did not lose both of their games against Tampines last season. But we beat them twice last season," said the coach.
"They sign a good number of players this year, four to six players, including their new tall striker (Liam Shotton). Dino (Drpic) will take care of him tomorrow.
"Dino was injured after the game against Home United. He didn't train for a week. But he will start the game tomorrow," added Simunic.
Good with the ball in the air, the towering Croatian defender Drpic brought a new dimension to DPMM's game.
The 31-year-old donned the colours of Dinamo Zagreb 201 times during his nine-year spell at the club, coming through the youth ranks of the club which has produced players such as Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar and rising sensation Alen Halilovic.
"It is very important to not making a mistake tomorrow," continued Simunic.
"Look at SAF... It was a shock. They lost 6-1 to Tanjong Pagar. We cannot make the same mistakes."
Warriors FC lost 6-1 to visiting Tanjong Pagar United at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium on Wednesday.
"Sairol (Sahari) will start tomorrow and Helmi (Zambin) will be on the bench. Joao (Joao Vitor Rocha De Carvalho Moreira) and Shahrazen (Said) will be upfront.
Stephan (Auvray), Jimbo (Hj Mohd Subhi Hj Abdillah Bakir), Bobby (Rosmin Hj Kamis) and Param (Azwan Salleh) in the middle.
"It will be a big game tomorrow. Hougang is a different team now. But I am optimistic. I always believe in my players," added the coach.
Hougang are enjoying a great start of the season after defeating Young Lions 1-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday.
"1-0 win against Young Lions. We did not play to our potential. Young Lions defended very well but I am pleased that we scored from the corner kick (set-piece), because it is what we have been working on," said Hougang's Coach Alex Weaver in an interview with The Brunei Times last night.
"I saw DPMM FC play a few times last season. They are probably the favourite to win the league this year. They got quality players and added good players this season and they have a very determined coach. It will be tough.
"We are aware of their attacking threat, especially with Said (Shahrazen) and Joao Moreira. We got to be very cautious as we approach the game," added the 36-year-old.
The Brunei Times
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