08 November 2015

Kean happy pressure is off DPMM FC

Sunday, November 8, 2015

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean was pleased with his players’ ability to put the pressure back on Tampines Rovers FC in the Singapore League (S-League) title race.
The Brunei side are on the brink of capturing their maiden title after shrugging off defending champions Warriors FC 3-1 at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore on Friday night.
The victory knocked both Balestier Khalsa FC and Albirex Niigata (S) FC out of the title race while Tampines, who have two games in hand, will need three straight wins for a chance to lift the trophy.
DPMM FC are now on 49 points followed by Balestier with 44 points. Albirex, who have a game in hand, are third another two points back while the Stags are on 41 points.
Tampines will face off against Home United FC tonight before taking on the White Swans on Friday and completing their campaign on Nov 20 against Harimau Muda (Malaysia national Under-22 football team).
A single slip up in any of those fixtures will see the championship come to Brunei even before DPMM FC kick off their final match against Balestier at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas on Nov 21.
“We played really well especially in the first half. We did what we could do, and that is to put the pressure back on Tampines,” said Kean in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday when contacted.
“It is a big step for us (to win the title) as Tampines will have to take maximum points from their remaining matches, and having to play with only a couple of days rest is tough,” added the Scotsman.
Just like the Brunei side, the Protectors and Albirex are also semi-finalists in the Singapore Cup which will resume on Nov 24.
Kean is glad that they are the sides standing in the way of the five-time league champions.
“I’m glad that Home and Albirex are the teams playing these two games. From my point of view, the coaches wouldn’t want to rest their players for too long (before the Singapore Cup second leg),” said Kean.
“I don’t see it happening since the 24th is still a long way and they would want the players to maintain the fitness,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
DPMM FC will have a two-week break before their final league game, and Kean felt that it came at the right time - especially since they have to play Home in the second leg of the Singapore Cup semi-finals three days later.
“We have played so many games and there are small injuries like (Paulo) Sergio with his hamstring, Sairol (Hj Sahari) with a tight hamstring and Rosmin (Hj Md Kamis) with a sore knee,” said Kean.
“We need this time and make sure that the players will be 100 per cent before the next game.
“Hopefully we won’t need anything, and we hope the fans will come on down for the big match,” he added.

The Brunei Times

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