League Cup • July 12, 2014
Salim Pleased With Slender Victory
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Woodlands Wellington ran out 1-0 victors over National Football League (NFL) side Singapore Recreation Club in Group C of the StarHub League Cup, and coach Salim Moin was more happy than disappointed.
“Most importantly, I am very happy with the win and looking forward to the quarters’,” he expressed while crossing his fingers that his team will qualify.
“Although we were lethargic and showed signs of complacency, I credit my boys for trying their best to score more goals.
“We could have been denied the win if not for Ahmadulhaq Che Omar’s save in the second half, which was the only real chance SRC had.
“I was happy with the ball possession we had but our passes were sloppy and that needs to be improved.”
“It was an encouraging display. I enjoyed seeing my players circulate the ball around from one direction to another. Now there is a higher confidence level.”
However, the former national player showed inches of disappointment with regards to the scoreline, as he admitted that he expected his charges to score more goals after Bah Mamadou’s opener.
“Whenever we score a goal, the game starts to open up and my players start getting more confident. But this time round I was proven wrong,” he revealed.
“After we scored, we continued being compact when attacking and lost the ball unnecessarily even without pressure.
“We had chances and could have scored more because a one-goal lead is never safe.”
Salim then listed out the factors which he feels his side lacked.
“The players need to learn to play directly to the feet and the quality of touches need to improve,” he explained.
“The players must understand how to keep ball possession, then draw the opponents out of shape, before exploiting and penetrating.
“They should not force play. All I want to see is simple passes.”
The 52-year-old then credited his opponents, before applauding his defender Shahril Alias, who returned to the pitch after a long injury.
“I give credits to SRC. They defended very well and stayed compact,” Salim said.
“They were sitting back, did not allow us much space and were relying on counter-attacks.
“I am also very pleased with Shahril who comes back after eight months. I am not going to rush him but he needs to build up his confidence and he should be fully fit by September.”
On the other hand, SRC’s team manager, S.Mogan was dejected by the defeat.
“We were robbed. This game showed the difference in fitness levels,” he described.
“Physically Woodlands were very fit but we played well and could have beaten Woodlands with the very few good opportunities we had.
“That goal we conceded was a surprise but I feel that a draw would have been a fairer result considering the amount of hard work the boys put in.”