Singapore Premier League • June 20, 2014

Amin Encouraged By Display In Stalemate

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Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Defending Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League champions Tampines Rovers were held to a 1-1 draw at Clementi Stadium by a spirited Hougang United side who did not cave in despite going behind just before the break.

Hougang coach Amin Nasir was encouraged by the display and said it was a ‘valuable’ point earned away from home.

“It’s not easy. I’m proud of my boys, the way they responded in the second-half. As much as we wanted three points, we managed to get one and I’m very glad and happy for that,” he added.

Despite finding themselves in the top-half of the table and six points away from leaders Brunei DPMM, Amin did not want to get too carried away and emphasised on the importance of being consistent.

“Our position is very high and this is encouraging but it’s not the end and we still need to work extra hard because all the teams in the league are not easy,” he said.

“We want to go as high as possible that’s why i told my players that it is nice we are in this position at the moment. Hard work paid off today and we will take one game at a time.

“As i told the players, consistency is important. We need to be consistent. I believe in my team. If we work as a team, we can put up a good fight against any team.”

In contrast, Tampines coach Rafi Ali rued two points dropped at home but similarly paid credit to his charges for their effort.

“Of course [it’s disappointing]. Playing at home, we wanted to get the three points. We started off well but let in one goal. That’s football,” he lamented.

“It’s not easy playing three games in a week but i will not use this as an excuse. We also created chances but if we can’t convert, we can’t win games.

“It’s always not easy playing against such teams. Credit to the boys, they worked really hard even though some of them looked a little tired.”

Even though they still trail DPMM, Rafi believed the Stags are still in the running for the title.

“I think we are still in it, we are about three points away,” he stated.

“This year’s S.League is not easy because all the teams have improved. The standard, intensity of the game is higher now. Tampines are three-time consecutive league champions now and you need no motivation to beat us, no matter which team you are.