Singapore Premier League • August 30, 2014

Weaver: This Is The Start Of The Warriors’ Return

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Written by: Muhammad Yazid

Warriors FC claimed a 2-0 victory over rivals Tampines Rovers on Friday night in a crucial encounter, and coach Alex Weaver had smiles written all over his face after the final whistle.

The Englishman was evidently pleased with the scoreline as he said: “It was a positive display and we defended excellently with tactical discipline.”

“We always look to start bright and quick. Tampines prevented us from that routine in the first three minutes or so, but we started to play good football from then on.

“At half-time we could sit back a bit and absorb the onslaught from Tampines and we did very well. I am pleased with the clean sheet because we tried hard in the last ten minutes.”

The former Stoke City academy coach particularly credited the training sessions he had with his team.

“We did a lot of work on individual one on one and tonight we were as a unit tactically. There were situations like that when we in front,” he mentioned.

Weaver was also anticipating the upcoming break and hopes it will smoothen the journey of his team’s progress.

“The players will take this (win) into the break and we are capable of beating any team, but as of now, they are on a high after the win,” he commented.

The former Hougang United coach then started to showcase his confidence for the rest of the season.

“We want to achieve what Tampines did in the past couple of seasons and get Warriors to where it used to be,” Weaver declared.

“It is great to see big teams dropping points but we cannot write off teams like Tampines and Home United. There is a benchmark for every team.

“Tampines are worthy champions and have class on and off the field. We set our targets on them all season.

“Everyone is going to take points off each other and this could be a time for us to do that and I am full of confidence.”

His counterpart, Rafi Ali decided to put the defeat aside and focused on the second half’s performance of his team.

“We were fighting in the first half but we could not succeed and the waterlogged pitch did not help,” Rafi commented.

“Second half we wanted to play how we wanted to. I am happy with the second half performance.“

The former national player then suggested the unavailability of key players contributed to this loss.

“Kunihiro Yamashita (pulled hamstring), Ismadi Muthar (back), and Shaiful Esah are all out with injuries while Miljan Mrdakovic had to be serving suspension. Jamil Ali just came back from reservist yesterday and Fahrudin Mustafic was playing the game with an ankle problem,” he lamented.

“But this is football. It is not an excuse but we need a bigger squad to play, in a period of such a short time.”