Singapore Premier League • March 29, 2014
Salim Hail Stags’ Team Spirit
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
A late Roberto Martinez strike sealed a dramatic come-from-behind win for Tampines Rovers as the reigning champions edged Harimau Muda 3-2 at the Clementi Stadium on Thursday.
The Stags had trailed to goals from Akhir Bahari and Nurshamil Abd Ghani but Noh Alam Shah and Miljan Mrdakovic equalised before Martinez struck the winning goal.
Speaking after the match, a relieved Salim said: “I’m extremely proud of the team spirit although we were down 2-0.
“We came back strongly in the last 15 minutes and wanted to score. I knew the minute we managed to score a goal, another goal will come so that’s why i changed the style of play where i put in four forwards. But credit must also be given to Harimau Muda for giving us a hard time today.”
The ex-international was pleased with the character of his players and determination and was glad his tactical changes paid off.
“I’m extremely proud of the team spirit despite of the 2-0 deficit so they came back strongly in the last 15 minutes. We want to score goals I knew the minute we managed to score a goal, another goal will come so that’s why i changed the style of play – I put in four forwards because I want to score goals. But credit to the Harimau Muda for giving us a hard time,” added Salim.
Salim’s opposite number, Razip Ismail was clearly upset with the result and his players for failing to heed his advice.
“We finished the game is very very bad, after the 2-0 and then we tend to almost every game towards the end 10 15 minutes we let in goal. That’s our main weakness,” said Razip.
“I think against this type of experienced opponents we shouldn’t do that, I’ve already reminded them so many times that we have to concentrate throughout the match, especially towards the end when everybody is tired.
“You know these players are inexperienced, they need to play more games. They keep losing the concentration during the game, especially in the crucial moment and that one in added time. I think it’s disappointing the way we lost the game,” explained the former Kuala Lumpur FA coach.