Singapore Premier League • October 22, 2015
Aw: We Never Gave Up
Written by: Shawn Lim
Home United coach Philippe Aw expressed his delight at how his side came from behind to beat Warriors FC 2-1 at Yishun Stadium on Wednesday night.
Fazrul Nawaz had fired Warriors ahead in the first half which the visitors totally dominated, before the Protectors came back in the second half to snatch all three points through Kamel Ramdani and Ambroise Begue.
Aw admitted that the hosts struggled to gain a foothold in the game in the first half, but was pleased with how his side responded in the second half.
“Warriors were the better team in the first half, credit to them. We had problems dealing with them in first half,” said the 39-year-old.
“At half-time, we spoke about how when we lost possession, we didn’t recover as a team. From the start of the second half, the boys immediately transformed and took the game to them (Warriors).
“It was relentless pressure on the ball and I am very happy with our second half performance because we played really well.
“In the first half, they were playing those long balls to (Miroslav) Pejic and when he knocked them down in midfield, we were nowhere to be seen.
“Our midfield line was too high and we didn’t follow the defensive line to drop back. We had problems because their midfield were the same line as our back four and we conceded a lot of free kicks there.
“In the second half, you could see the midfield line dropped together with the defensive line and as a team, we solved the problem.”
The victory for Home was their second come-from-behind performance in less than a week, after coming back from 3-1 down to draw 4-4 with Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League leaders Brunei DPMM in their previous game.
Aw praised his team for their never-say-die attitude and felt that his side’s strong mentality was the result of a good blend of experience and exuberance.
“One thing is very evident with the boys is that they never give up. A match ago, we were 3-1 down and we could have won 4-3. It would have been very different,” asserted Aw.
“Today, once again, one goal down and we could have won by more. We firmly believe that the title race is not over and we go into every game with the intention to win.
“We have some experienced players and also some young boys. The young ones have an abundance of energy and the older ones have a strong mentality.
“All in all, as a team they know they will never give up and that we definitely can come back. I’m very happy our efforts paid off today.”
Meanwhile, Warriors coach Alex Weaver struggled to explain his side’s collapse in the second half, where they failed to register a single shot on target and spent majority of the time in their own half.
“It was a game of two halves. We prepared really well to get the players to produce a first-half performance like that,” said the Englishman
“We told the players to try to get that little bit of personal satisfaction back (after the the loss to Courts Young Lions) and try to dominate all over the field.
“You give them 45 minutes worth of credit and like I have just told the players, we completely stopped in the second half.
“Home put a couple of players on our centre-backs, but they did that a few times in the first half and we still played out, still looked to get on the ball. We still looked to build from the back.
“But when you keep giving the ball away so many times, like we did, to a good team to Home United, you are just putting yourself under unnecessary pressure.
“We kept inviting Home on to us, so that was our problem in the second half.”
The loss left the defending champions 10 points adrift of DPMM, but Weaver refused to rule out his side’s chances of defending their title.
“We are just looking at our own performances right now and wanted to get back personal satisfaction in our own standards,” said Weaver.
“We did that for 45 minutes really well and people could see that was Warriors football, but we let ourselves down in the second half.”