25 October 2014

Kean focusing on positives

Friday, October 24, 2014
DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean is looking at the positives from the recently concluded ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup qualifiers in Laos.

The national football team returned home early yesterday morning after failing to notch a single point at the Oct 12-20 competition.

The Wasps started out with a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Timor Leste on Oct 12 at the National Sports Complex in Vientiane before falling to hosts Laos by the same scoreline two days later.

Brunei were down and out of contention after losing 3-1 to favourites Myanmar last Thursday.
They were then edged 1-0 by Cambodia at the Chao Anouvong Stadium on Monday to finish their outing empty handed.

“It is never great when you lose a game. But to put things in context, we went out to Laos as a group,” said Kean when met at the Jerudong Mini Stadium yesterday.

“We got three very young players (Muhd Nurikhwan Othman, Reduan Hj Petara and Ak Yura Indera Putera Pg Yunos) and they played the last couple of matches. That is a positive.

“We also played (Ak Md) Fakhrazzi Pg Hj Hassan) as full back in the last two games and he was excellent when he played there. That is a positive.

“Eventhough we didn’t manage to get victories, I felt we played well. A lot of the games... we were in position, where at key times, it could have gone either way,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

“We came back with the confidence at the international level as the lads played well.

“We will now change the focus to the S-League (Singapore League) and hopefully we are going to be in a position to claim the title in a week’s time,” continued Kean.

DPMM FC had 17 players represent the Sultanate and this was the first stint for Kean in handling a national team.

Asked on the differences compared to the club level, the Scotsman replied: “I felt we came up against a lot of good players. There is a lot of talent from other countries.

“It is always good for us as a country to stretch ourselves. You learn more about yourself when you play against some really good opposition,” he added.

That experience is always positive eventhough we didn’t manage win.

“The positives we take out from each match in the tournament is a learning experience as a country.

“We have also found some excellent young players that we can add to squad next season,” concluded the DPMM FC head coach.

Kean will now set his focus on the S-League title race as they have a tight schedule ahead.

They will host Balestier Khalsa FC in their final home game tomorrow before facing off against Albirex Niigata (S) FC next Tuesday. They close out the season against Tampines Rovers three days later.

The Brunei Times

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