13 October 2016

Wasps return stronger

INTERIM national football coach Mike Wong Mun Heng (pic) felt that they have achieved their aim despite results not going their way after returning from their training tour against Malaysia’s Under-22 team in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.
The Wasps slipped to a 2-0 defeat in the first of their two friendlies on Thursday at the Paroi Stadium in Negri Sembilan before an improved performance saw them getting edged 1-0 on Saturday.
“The results were not positive but we achieved what we wanted over there. It was the first international game for most of the players together for this year,” said Wong upon arrival at the Brunei International Airport yesterday.
“It was good as we had new boys joining us. It was something that we wanted and we achieved it,” he added.
The main target is the AFF (ASEAN Football Federation) Suzuki Cup 2016 qualifers in Cambodia which will begin this Saturday with Brunei kicking things off against Timor Leste in the opener of the four-country competition.
Plenty of work is still required as the backline was shaky especially in the first match where the sultanate conceded two goals from set-pieces in the second half.
They are still a work in progress and according to Wong, he will have things sorted out in the next few training sessions.
“We shuffled the defence a little bit as the boys who play in the pro club go with the back-three or back-five. But now we are looking at back-four,” explained the Singaporean.
“There are different ways to look at it. We are looking at the dynamics of the grouping of players inside the field. We want to sort this out in the next two or three training sessions.
“We conceded two from set pieces and one from a very poor bouncing of the defence line. These are the things we looked at and spoke about it.
“We did well in second game defending setpieces after we rectified it,” he added.
“So we want to move on from there. I know people will be looking at the result as we lost two times. But it is not about results but more about what we want to achieve there.
“We know the difficulties of playing against Malaysia as they had some senior players and they had already played some international games (before us),” continued the NFABD (National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam) technical director.
Another cause for concern for the Wasps is upfront where they only produced one shot on target in each match and had five off target in total.
When asked on the situation, Wong replied, “Looking at the statistics, I sat down with the German coach (Frank Bernhardt) and we actually had better clear cut chances to score but we didn’t convert.
“I’m not worried about whether we can score or not. I’m more worried whether we can create enough number of opportunities to put the ball into the net,” he concluded.

The Brunei Times

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