Singapore Premier League • October 29, 2014
Kean Praises Players’s Determination
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
A delighted DPMM coach Steve Kean admitted his side had work to do in their attacking department but hailed his side’s defensive display after they saw off Albirex Niigata 1-0 on Tuesday evening.
“I dont think we have been playing badly but we haven’t been ruthless enough,” Kean said. “We also finally got a clean sheet tonight, after having not getting enough clean sheets.
“Credit must be given to the defenders because I’ve been giving them a hard time and rightly so. Defenders are paid to defend, we haven’t had enough clean sheets of late but tonight they threw their body on the line. They were excellent.
“We are just delighted with the result tonight that makes the game on Friday [against Tampines Rovers] a game that means something.”
DPMM had a goal disallowed in the first-half and then Roy O’Donovan sent off in the dying moments of the game and while Kean felt those decisions were ‘strange’, he was keen to move on.
“You just got to take it, when you get those decisions against you,” he said.
“We had one in our last game [against Balestier Khalsa] where there was a blatant handball on the line, two hands in fact, but you’ve got to bite your tongue and get on with it.”
On the other hand, Kean’s opposite number, Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama expressed disappointment at dropping out of the running for the title.
“This is football, both teams created chances and which team scores goals win. DPMM have many experienced players so we were not good enough to beat them in that point,” he lamented.
“I wanted the players to grow up throughout the season and also wanted to get good results so if we won one of these five games, it might be interesting for us but we lost all of them so I can’t say I’m satisfied but disappointed.”
Despite having dropped out of the title race, Okuyama has vowed to field his strongest line-up against Warriors who will win the championship if they emerge victorious and DPMM slip up.
“Thinking about the roles of each player we may try to use new players. For now, i am thinking about playing with our strongest team so we just play for our best,” the 38-year-old shared.
“We have nothing to lose in our last three games and we just play for ourselves. We just appreciate this opportunity we can play in the S.League and we will do our best until the end of the season.”