03 August 2014

Kean eyes hat-trick of Hougang wins

Sunday, August 3, 2014
DPMM FC face a stern test when they host Hougang United FC in the Singapore League (S-League) today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.

Brunei’s only professional team won both their meetings so far this season but Hougang United are in fine form in the S-League, riding an eight-game unbeaten streak.

Their first encounter required an Azwan Ali Rahman header in the second half to seal a 1-0 victory at the Hougang Stadium in Singapore back in April.

Their latest saw Roy O’Donovan bag a hat-trick for a 3-2 win in their Group D match of the Singapore League Cup at the same venue on July 14.

DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes that it will be a tough test but is looking to gain all three points from the matchup.

“They (Hougang) are having a really good second half of the season. Both our matches have been close and we expect another tough match. We will not take it lightly,” said Kean in an interview with The Brunei Times after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

“Like I said last week, teams come to Brunei and are aware of our goalscoring and how many points we pick up at home.

“We just need to be positive and play to our strengths… get quality ball up to the front unit. If we can do that then we can score goals. We will also need to be disciplined to keep a cleansheet,” he added.

“They are very quick on the break. They have got very good strikers who can hold the ball up.

“The important thing is that we don’t turn the ball over and let them go on the counterattack. They are a good forward thinking team and always play through their strengths,” continued the Scotsman.

DPMM FC are leading the 12-team table on 38 points from 18 games while Hougang United are in fifth six points back.

However, three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers are tied on points for the top spot after a 2-0 win over Woodlands Wellington at the Woodlands Stadium in Singapore on Thursday.

Asked if there is any added pressure, Kean replied: “This is the time of the season where we just have to focus on ourselves.

“They (title contenders) are playing each other. Albirex beat Warriors (on Friday night) but it would have been a better result for us had it been a draw,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

“Hopefully they will take points off each other and we just look to pick up points,” he continued.

DPMM FC marquee signing Roy O’Donovan is also expecting a tough outing against the Cheetahs.

“It will be a tough game as Hougang are also challenging for the title. They are prepared for the game and we won’t take them lightly,” said O’Donovan.

“We had a difficult game against them in the first round (of the League Cup).

“We don’t expect it to be any different. All the lads are looking forward to it and are in good spirits,” added the Irishman.
Hougang United head coach Amin Nasri is looking to close the gap on the leaders.

“We are doing alright in the League and are quite close (to the top). We definitely want to get a good result from this game to get closer,” said Amin.

“We know it won’t be an easy game. We have played them twice before and lost but all were close fights

“We are confident but it will not be easy. We need to work extra hard to beat them here,” he added.

Asked on what to look out for against DPMM FC, Amin replied: “There are definitely lot of areas like the scoring form of O’Donovan and (Rodrigo) Tosi.

“They are always running. These are the two key players we need to be aware of as they create a lot of problems for us.

“But really it is not only the both of them as it is an entire team effort. We just have to make sure that we cut off service,” he concluded.

DPMM FC are without their quartet of Adi Said, Najib Hj Tarif, Md Hendra Azam Md Idris and Azman Ilham Hj Md Noor as they are lacing up for the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy (HBT) football team.

Kick off is at 8.15pm.

The other match will see the Young Lions and Harimau Muda square off in the basement battle at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore at 7.30pm.

The Brunei Times 

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