Singapore Premier League • November 22, 2015
Kean Pays Tribute To Title-Winning Squad
Written by: Dwayne James
Brunei DPMM coach Steve Kean praised his charges for delivering one of the best performances this season to land their maiden Great Eastern-Yeo’s S.League title.
The Wasps cruised to a 4-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa at an almost full-capacity Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
“I do (think it is one of the best performances this season). It is always nice to leave that to the one that really matters,” said Kean after the triumph.
“When you think back to last season, we were on top like every week till the last week.
“This time we drew a few games earlier on in the season then slipped up against Geylang (International FC) and against Tampines (Rovers FC), we needed a draw and would have been done,” he added.
“But it brought the fans out today (Saturday night) which is a nice catalyst to see a DPMM FC team work so hard for each other and hopefully we can fill the stadium again next year,” continued the Scotsman.
Kean was also delighted with the showing of Paulo Sergio after the Portuguese forward netted a first half hat-trick and provided an assist in the second half.
“Not only is he a difference maker with the goals – scoring a hat-trick and giving an assist. It is his work off the ball,” said Kean.
“He was absolutely outstanding. When you got a player in your team with that quality, who can dribble the ball up the pitch and take away the pressure, make a pass or score a free-kick, he got everything and I’m delighted he finished off the season like this,” he added.
When asked on how he summed up the season, Kean replied: “I think we’ve matured a lot as a team. We are the fittest team and showed tactically and technically we can keep the ball and cause teams problems no matter what they do if they are physical or they play on the counter attack.
“We are beginning to understand all of that and we have improved as a club over the past couple of seasons,” added the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
On the other hand, Balestier coach Marko Kraljevic felt that they were simply second best in the game as they were not allowed to play their usual direct football.
“Congratulations to DPMM FC for winning the championship. They deserved it and I think they were the best team in the league,” said Kraljevic.
“They were hungrier and showed more fighting spirit. They worked really hard and we conceded one goal.
“We needed to win to finish in the top three so we opened the game a little and they used that to get behind us.
“We lost the ball in the danger area and they scored a second goal. But the third goal in last minute of first half killed the game,” he added.
“We tried as much to play our game but they really didn’t allow us. We tried passing the ball more but it wasn’t working.
“DPMM FC were sharper and faster than us. They were just the better team,” continued the Croatian.
Regardless, Kraljevic was still satisfied with finishing in fourth position – one point behind Albirex Niigata FC (S).
“(The season is) still successful. We are a small club with a small budget so it is still successful for us.
“Top four is a good achievement for us,” he concluded.