Singapore Premier League • November 1, 2014
Kean Blames Inconsistencies For Failed Title Challenge
Written by: Muhammad Yazid
Inconsistencies, that was the main reason Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean had for his side’s failure to lift the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League title after a 2-1 defeat to Tampines Rovers on the final day of the league.
“It is not only about the last game, it is about the whole season,” Kean mentioned.
“Other games also costed us to lose our position at the top of the table. We should have won (against) Warriors at home a few weeks ago, for an example. That was a big game which we lost.
“We were at the top of the league for most of the season and now we have lost the battle.”
Apart from the obvious disappointment, the Scottish felt that the suspension of two key players was the turning point.
“It is very disappointing, but I honestly believe that the suspensions played a part in the defeat,” he thought.
“We missed the quality of Roy O’Donovan and Azwan Ali. Azwan is a fantastic young player who gets on the ball and plays last passes through for strikers.
“Donovan’s pace was also missed. Both of them create a lot of space for Rodrigo Tosi.
“When we don’t have that dynamic, we feel less lethal upfront.”
Speaking about the game itself, Kean felt that his side should have ‘won the game in the first half’.
“We had better chances in the first half, and could have put our noses in front and held on,” the former Blackburn Rovers manager revealed.
“In the second half, I knew that Warriors were leading only when we conceded the second goal. It felt horrible when losing the game and finding out Warriors was winning.
“But I told the players and staff to forget that and try to win this game first. We had chances even after Tosi pulled one back and hoped Albirex Niigata (S) would score in the last minute, but the damage was done.”
Tampines team manager Clement Teo on the other hand reflected the happiness the whole team possessed after the final whistle.
“Everyone was very happy. We knew after Warriors defeat that we cannot be second place, so we wanted to be as high as possible,” Teo shared.
“The boys were motivated and played to the game plan coach Rafi Ali had.
“We showed a lot of courage and teamwork. We wanted the win more than DPMM.
Teo also admitted that the suspension problems DPMM were facing worked in Tampines’ favour.
“Playing against them is never easy, but with the help of suspensions, it made it a little easy us,” he commented.
“They are a good side and had chances, but we are happy that we have not lost against DPMM this season.”