STEVE Kean stressed the importance of DPMM FC finishing second in the Singapore League (S-League) ahead of tonight’s game against Tampines Rovers FC.
DPMM FC are currently third with 38 points, two points behind Tampines — who are ahead by four goals and have two games in hand — going into tonight’s clash at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore.
DPMM FC won the S-League title for the first time last season but relinquished their crown after Albirex Niigata (S) FC’s 1-0 win over Geylang International FC last Thursday.
“It is very important for us to finish second this season because you want to always keep progressing,” DPMM FC coach Kean told The Brunei Times prior to their departure for Singapore yesterday for their second-last game of the season.
“It has been a disappointment for us this season in cup competitions, so if we still can finish second this season, then it is an indication that we are still moving forward,” he added.
DPMM FC lost 2-0 to Albirex in the League Cup final in July and were knocked out in the quarter-final of the Singapore Cup 5-3 on aggregate to Ceres La Salle from the Philippines the same month.
“Everybody knows we have been playing very well at the moment. We have won 11 of our last 13 games now,” continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
“Tomorrow’s (tonight’s) game is going to be very important for us if we want to finish second.
“I don’t know why but in the past, we always had a psychological block playing Tampines thinking that we cannot beat them… But I am sure they will be worried because we are currently a team in form,” he added.
Tampines won 4-3 the last time both sides met in June in Singapore. DPMM FC lost at home to the Stags in March, falling 2-1.
Midfielders Paulo Sergio and Azwan Ali Rahman will be back after missing the 5-3 win over the Young Lions (Singapore national Under-21 football team) on Monday night due to minor injuries, but the club will be without the service of captain Rosmin Hj Md Kamis (pic) and Maududi Hilmi Kasmi tonight due to suspension.
“Paulo and Azwan Ali will be back and obviously we will miss Bobby (Rosmin) and Maududi… But this gives the opportunity for the others to step up,” added the Scotsman.