Singapore Premier League • May 10, 2014

Kean Remains Cautious About Complacency


Written by: Zack Rahim

Steve Kean isn’t getting ahead of himself despite Brunei DPMM sitting pretty atop the Great Eastern-Yeo’s S-League.

The Bruneians now enjoy a seven-point lead at the summit after their 4-0 win over Tanjong Pagar United FC on Friday night, and though they have proved themselves as the strongest title contenders after the first round of matches, their coach knows there is still a long way to go.

“We still have to keep on developing and we still need to keep on focused,” said Kean after the match at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Brunei.

“We have a very tough game coming up on Wednesday against Albirex (Albirex Niigata FC (S)) and we have to focus on that now,” said Kean, who is in his first season with the club.

Though nearest rivals Warriors FC and defending champions Tampines Rovers FC’s 3-3 draw on Thursday suited DPMM just fine, Kean did not read too much into the result.

“There are strong teams all around and I don’t know what our chances are,” said Kean when asked to comment on their title rivals.

Once again, the Scotsman opted to use his post-match interview with the media to talk about DPMM’s passing game, saying that he wasn’t exactly too thrilled with their first half performance despite the hosts enjoying a 2-0 lead.

DPMM took a 2-0 lead after goals from Roy O’ Donovan (10th minute) and Rodrigo Tosi (43rd minute), both coming after crosses into the box.

They made it 3-0 seconds after the restart when O’Donovan caught the visitors’ defence napping and netted from close range after another cross, with substitute Shahrazen Said adding to the scoreline in the dying seconds with a calm finish after a one-two with O’ Donovan – who now has 10 goals to Tosi’s team and league-leading 11.

“In the first half I felt we weren’t passing the ball enough from the back four to the front two, and that’s what I told the players to focus on in the second half – and they did,” explained Kean of his tactics.

“We are a passing side and we like to get the ball to Joe and Azwan (left midfielder Joe Gamble and right midfielder Azwan Ali Rahman),” he added.


It was understandable, perhaps, why Kean’s counterpart Patrick Vallee retreated to the team bus after his post-match talk to his players, with captain Hafiz Osman kind enough to give his thoughts.

“I still think we’re one of the teams to look out for,” said Hafiz, though the Jaguars are second from bottom at 10th.

“Most of the game we dominated but as a team we need to do better.

“Of course I’m not happy with where we are in the table… But we have to take it one step at a time and keep knocking at the door of the team above us – Woodlands (Wellington) – and catch up with them and make it to the top-six after the second round.

“We need to communicate better and we can’t lose focus even for a minute. We need belief,” insisted the skipper.

Belief is something Kean is not short of – and it is that same belief that might well carry his team to their first Great Eastern-Yeo’s S-League title.