News • March 11, 2014
Lee Determined to Exhibit S.League’s Strength in AFC Cup
Written by: Kenneth Ho
After losing by a solitary goal away to New Radiant in Maldives in their AFC Cup Group E opener, Home United coach Lee Lim Saeng wants his team to respond with a victory in their next match against Persipura Jayapura on Tuesday evening at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Despite the Protectors suffering an injury crisis, the Korean is determined not to allow his side to sit back as they bid to secure a result.
“Unfortunately we have eight injured players, including Bruno [Castanheira],” Lee said at the pre-match press conference at Hotel Royal on Monday afternoon.
“I think maybe I can call from the Prime League maybe four players, but I want my players to show the S.League’s strength, so we will not play defensive football.”
Lee was well aware of the threat the reigning Indonesia Super League champions posed after doing his research on them, but he insisted the hosts have an advantage if a loud crowd turns up to support his team.
“I watched Persipura Jayapura play in video highlights, they are very fast and have some skills. But we are hosts, you know; we have to get three points,” Lee added.
While Persipura coach Jacksen Tiago was quietly confident about his team’s chances, he appeared to be wary of the artificial pitch at Jalan Besar.
”We are going to have tough moments here especially because of the field because the field is artificial ground. We are not used to playing in those situations but we come here to win,” Tiago said.
“Yesterday we trained in there, the ball bounced a little bit, so we need to get some adaptation on the ball climbing,
“I prefer playing in Bishan but we play in Jalan Besar, that’s okay. We have one more training this evening so we are going to work on the players, so that their adaptation will be a little bit more faster,” added the former Geylang United (now Geylang International) player.
Jacksen’s faith in his team is built upon the fact that the core of the squad has stuck together for six years.
In addition, the Brazilian felt he has done his homework on the Bishan-based side after watching many videos of Home’s games.
“It is an unusual situation because Home United have many injured players against New Radiant. I watch so many last season games of Home United [that I] don’t put my focus on the New Radiant game,” he said.
“The players may have changed [from last season] but the coach is still the same so the philosophy is the same.”
The match between Home and Persipura will be held at Jalan Besar Stadium at 7.30pm.