05 May 2016

Kean wants a clean sheet

Thursday, May 5, 2016

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean wants his players to keep a clean sheet when they face Warriors FC in the Singapore League (S-League) today – their first away fixture in two months after six consecutive games at home.
It is now 10 games into the season and the defending champions have only managed one clean sheet so far – a 0-0 draw against Hougang United FC on March 4.
DPMM FC picked up their first win of their campaign after beating record nine-time S-League champions Warriors 3-1 at home on Feb 27.
In fact, Brunei’s only professional side has won five of the last seven meetings against Warriors - three of the wins coming in similar 3-1 scorelines.
However, DPMM FC have yet to win an away game this season.
Kean is confident that his side will find the back of the net at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore and believes they should get maximum points if they don’t concede.
“I know we will make chances. Hopefully the unit work we have done with the attacking side for the game will score,” said Kean after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium on Tuesday.
“First and foremost, I would like to come back with a clean sheet. If we do that, we should have all three points,” added the Scotsman.
DPMM FC are coming off back-to-back defeats for the first time this season after slumping to a 2-1 loss at the hands of Geylang International FC at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas last Saturday – the first time the Eagles have gotten the better of the Brunei side on their home ground.
The result – their fourth loss of the season – sees them lie fifth in the nine-team table with 14 points.
Kean is unfazed by the current situation and believes they will be able to bounce back.
“We know we are a good team. Good teams go though different phases at different times of the season,” said Kean.
“I would be much more worried if we weren’t creating chances and didn’t have control of the games. We have got those two elements right. We just need to make sure around the box we are more ruthless, and we are desperate for some clean sheets.
“We have shown that we had some difficult periods already this season (and) we have put some good results together.
“The disappointing thing is that from the last game is the late goal… to get a wicked deflection near the end was disappointing.
“But if you analyse the game like we always do, we created enough chances to win three games,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
DPMM FC haven’t had problems creating chances but their conversion rate has come back to haunt them in games.
Kean is set to make some changes and hopes that it will help improve their game up front at goal.
“What I’m going to do the next couple of games is to change the shape a little bit. I feel as though we need a different spark up front and maybe just change the angles of the attacking unit a little bit,” said Kean.
DPMM FC have the upper hand in the battle against Warriors, having won 10 of the 17 games played against each other.
Warriors are seventh in the table with nine points from nine games after picking up just one win in their last five games.
With first-choice goalkeeper Yazid Yasin suspended after being sent off against Tampines Rovers FC in their 4-2 loss last Saturday, back-up goalkeeper Zainol Gulam is expected to make his first-ever S-league start - as reported in FourFourTwo Singapore magazine.
DPMM FC forward Paulo Sergio currently leads the league in assists with five, and Japanese centre-back Kento Fukuda will be charged with marking the Portuguese.
In attack, Warriors have a potent striker in Jonathan Behe - the Frenchman currently second in the S-League goal scoring charts with seven goals.
The team are in a renewal process after ditching all the foreign players who helped them win the S-League title in 2014.
Marin Vidosevic, Miroslav Pejic, Kevin McCann and Tom Beattie have all been shown the door, as has Argentine striker Nicolas Velez - who left half-way through last season to play in the Indian Super League.
After scoring 29 goals in a memorable one and a half seasons with the club, 2014 S-League Young Player of the Year Velez proved that he is no flash in the pan after moving from India to Croatia - where he now plays for first division side Hajduk Split.
The loss of Fazrul Nawaz and Daniel Bennett could also come back to haunt the Warriors.
Fazrul Nawaz, who was the top-scoring Singaporean in the league last season, is now at title rivals Tampines - and influential former captain and veteran Singapore international Bennett is now plying his trade at Geylang International FC.

The Brunei Times

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