03 June 2016

Kean eyeing Singapore Cup

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

DPMM FC coach Steve Kean has set his sights on adding the Singapore Cup to the club’s collection of trophies.
The club start this year’s Singapore Cup campaign in September against the Philippines’ United Football League (UFL) reigning champions Ceres-La Salle FC in the quarter-finals after the Filipino outfit defeated the Young Lions (Singapore national Under-21 football team) 3-1 after extra time on Sunday night.

Kean, who already won the Singapore League Cup in 2014 and the Singapore League (S-League) last year, is hoping 2016 will be the year they lift the Singapore Cup after third place finishes in the previous two seasons.

“We feel as though this is a competition we have to do better in,” said Kean in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday after a training session at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
“In the past few years we haven’t really done ourselves any justice in the Singapore Cup, so this is one (competition) we really want to do well in. We want to put a real big emphasis on taking care of this game and giving (Ceres) the respect they deserve.

“We really want to win this competition and it starts with a really tough game. You will come against tough competition if you want to win it,” added the Scotsman.

Kean knows what they are up against and likened the Filipino champions to current S-League leaders Albirex Niigata (S) FC.
Albirex won last year’s 18th edition of the Singapore Cup by beating Home United FC 2-1 in the championship decider.
The Japanese outfit also won the Singapore League Cup last season by defeating Balestier Khalsa 2-1.

“They (Ceres) are a good side as I’ve seen little bits of them. I have a friend who lives in Singapore and he was at the game (on Sunday), and he will give me a full detailed report on them. We have done our homework like we always do,” promised Kean.

“They are a technical side and have got a lot of pace. They try to keep the ball and maybe it will be a little bit like us playing against Albirex.

“They put a lot of emphasis on ball possession, and this is not a physical type of game compared to the other side of the (Singapore Cup) draw... It will be a technical high tempo possession based game,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.

The winner of the match will face either Tampines Rovers FC or another Filipino outfit Global FC.

DPMM FC are coming off a 5-0 drubbing at the hands of Home United FC in the S-League – their heaviest defeat in the competition – at the Bishan Stadium on May 19.

Kean said that players are in high spirits during training and are looking to correct their mistakes quickly.

“We have trained the hardest since I have been at the club with 10 sessions last week,” said Kean.

“With a result like that, you want to get on the training ground as often as you can and iron out the problems in the game – and there were a lot.

“The number of shots coming to our goalkeeper is far too many. It starts from our first attacker and gets back to what we did more than any other team last year.

“From the front we made it difficult for the ball to get to midfield and never to the back four. We need to get that back into our game.

“At the moment we are a nice footballing side and we need to once again become a horrible team to play against,” he concluded.

DPMM FC will resume their S-League campaign with a meeting against Tampines at the Jurong West Stadium in Singapore on June 11.

The reigning champions are currently fifth in the nine-team table with 18 points, tied with both Geylang International FC and Hougang United FC.

Albirex are at the summit with 29 points and have a seven-point lead over the Stags. Home United are now third just a further point behind.

The Brunei Times

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