Singapore Premier League • May 3, 2014

Injury-Woes Hit Tanjong Pagar Again


Written By: Kenneth Ho

There seems to be no reprieve for the Jaguars as they suffered yet another injury to their squad in the 1-1 draw with Geylang International on Thursday evening at Bedok Stadium.

Although Kamel Ramdani made his first appearance in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League 2014 season after a return from a long lay-off, Tanjong Pagar United saw Sazali Salleh getting injured after only nine minutes on the pitch.

The midfielder joins Sebastian Etiemble on the sidelines along with the likes of Ahmad Latiff, and left Tanjong Pagar coach Patrick Vallee in disbelief.

“Of course I am happy with the point, because after what happened when we started the game and suffered an injury,” Vallee said after the game.

“We did not expect many things but when I saw my team play like that, they done very well. We never gave up.”

“Maybe I train them a lot, and I must change my training, I don’t know but we are very unlucky with injuries.”

The Tanjong Pagar coach was disappointed his team did not manage to hold onto their slender one-goal lead to end the Jaguars’ unenviable record of having never won at Bedok Stadium since 1996.

“Geylang in a good way, are unbeaten in seven games, and we hoped to stop them tonight and become the first Tanjong Pagar team to win at Bedok, because no Tanjong Pagar team has ever won here,” he said.

“We told the players we can do that but after 90 minutes Geylang came back and we are sad but… all the players must be congratulated for their efforts.”

Vallee was also happy with the performance of his custodian Aurelien Herisson, who he said was an important factor in the stalemate.

Geylang coach Jorg Steinebrunner shared the same sentiments, as he brooded over what could have been had Herisson not put up such a good showing.

“I think the performance was a good one, in the earlier stage we were missing a little intensity, and then we had lacked the intensity to finish off chances that would have made things a little bit easier,” Steinebrunner said.

“Unfortunately in the second half they scored a goal, but then again we came back. We had a lot of chances, and a lot of them were kept out due to good goalkeeping, but again the team kept going and plugging away. ”

With the result, Geylang extended its unbeaten run to seven games. It was questioned whether this would lead to complacency among the squad.

However Steinebrunner was adamant that when his team made its comeback against the Jaguars, they showed that they had not allowed complacency to seep into their game.

“Credit to Tanjong Pagar, they came here, had a good set up. Monsef Zerka is always dangerous up front, and so was Firdaus Idros so we had to be aware of them as well,” the German explained.

“If we had complacency then maybe we would have lost the game, cause if you go 1-0, then you want to put on that switch again to play well it is always very difficult. So they always have the mindset that they want to win games, that we have to play good football.”