Singapore Premier League • September 17, 2015

Okuyama Laments Missed Chance To Reduce Gap


Written by: Nigel Chin

Albirex Niigata (S) coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama admitted he was disappointed that his side were unable to reduce the gap on Brunei DPMM following Wednesday evening’s 0-0 draw.

The draw allowed DPMM to maintain their four-point lead at the top of the table over second-placed Albirex Niigata (S), with just eight games to go in the season.

Had Albirex achieved a win against DPMM, they would have closed the gap to just a point and placed more pressure on the league leaders.

“Of course, this match is for us the chance to close the gap on DPMM, and I’m disappointed with the performance,” Okuyama said.

“We should have scored at least one goal and won today’s game, and I’m disappointed that we didn’t win.

“I believe that we can still go on in the title race. We will just continue to work harder and keep winning the rest of the games and hope DPMM drop some points.”

Till date, Albirex have scored just 19 goals in 18 games – hardly inspiring for a side looking to achieve their first league title.

Okuyama admitted that this is a concern and that he will be looking for more from his attackers.

“For offense, I think we could have done better,” Okuyama said. “I think we can be more accurate.

“Of course we want to score more goals, but DPMM are a very good opponent so that’s why we couldn’t create a lot of chances tonight.”

On the other hand, Steve Kean was pleased with the showing his side put up on the pitch despite walking away with just a point.

“I think when you set out a game plan before the game and the players carry it out really well, and I think we really frustrated them in the end, then you can’t have any complaints,” Kean said.

“But we are disappointed with the point, although it’s a better point for us than that for Albirex.

“From the balance of chances we are disappointed. Certainly from the balance of the game, because I thought we nullified them and we didn’t allow them to play.”

With just eight games to go, Kean has challenged his charges to keep the momentum going when they face Courts Young Lions next.

“I think at this stage of the season we have set the standards well – how we go and play, that was tonight with our work ethics and discipline without the ball – that’s the first thing we need to demand from each other,” Kean explained.

“If we can get that performance it will be hard for opposition to beat us. That’s the target for the next game, to play as well as we did with or without the ball and I’m confident we will get the goals.”