Singapore Premier League • July 30, 2014
Salim Calls For Simplicity
Woodlands Wellington vs Tampines Rovers
(July 31, Thursday, 7.30pm, Woodlands Stadium)
Written by: Khalis Rifhan
Their first meeting earlier in the year served up an entertaining match with Woodlands Wellington nicking a memorable 2-1 win over their more illustrious opponents Tampines Rovers.
In a twist of event, Salim Moin was on the Tampines’ bench but has since returned to his former club and will lead Woodlands against the reigning Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League.
But Salim’s magical touch does not seem to be working as effectively as he had wished for in recent weeks. Woodlands lost three out of their last five matches, including a 6-1 defeat to Home United in the StarHub League Cup.
With recent results in mind, Salim has called on his players to adopt a no-risk style of play.
“My players should start looking at the different possibilities when they are with the ball. To avoid losing it easily, they should play it simple,” said Salim after their League Cup quarter-final lost to Brunei DPMM.
“Do not force play. It does not matter even if they make a short pass if they are not confident. It is better than playing a long ball which gets stolen. That way, weaknesses will get hidden,” he emphasised.
The Stags, although they failed to advance to the League Cup quarters, have managed a consolation Plate trophy with predator Miljan Mrdakovic firing a hat-trick against Balestier Khalsa in the final.
Captain Fahrudin Mustafic will be suspended for this tie but coach Rafi Ali can count on Jacob Butler to spice up their midfield alongside Jozef Kaplan.
With the title race reaching its final stages, Tampines will surely want to secure maximum points and keep pace with league leader Brunei DPMM.
Attacking options are not an issue for the Stags as Rafi have the luxury to activate either Mrdakovic, Noh Alam Shah or evergreen striker Aleksandar Duric.
Suspensions: Jufri Taha, Fahrudin Mustafic (Tampines Rovers).
Key Men To Watch
Woodlands Wellington: Rosman Sulaiman
Eyes will surely be on South Korean duo Moon Soonho and Chang Jo Yoon for goals but captain Rosman deserves a mention for his leadership at the back.
Rosman is a no-nonsense player who does his duty quietly but effectively. But his hard work usually goes to nothing as his midfielders allow the opponents to have an easy run through from the middle of the park.
The right-back loves to join the attack with his overlapping runs on the flank and send in deadly crosses into the danger area.
Tampines Rovers: Jacob Butler
Butler is a rock in midfield for Rafi Ali and he will bulldoze out anyone that tries to squeeze past their fort in midfield. Despite joining the club only in June, the New Zealand international has build an understanding with his teammates.
The midfielder is more of a defensive than an attacking player but do not discount his eyesight for goal from long range.
Woodlands Wellington – LWLLD
17/7/14 Brunei DPMM 3-1 Woodlands Wellington (StarHub League Cup QF)
11/7/14 Woodlands Wellington 1-0 Singapore Recreation Club (StarHub League Cup Group C)
8/7/14 Woodlands Wellington 1-6 Home United (StarHub League Cup Group C)
1/7/14 Woodlands Wellington 1-3 Courts Young Lions
24/6/14 Home United 0-0 Woodlands Wellington
Tampines Rovers – WWLLW
24/7/14 Tampines Rovers 3-0 Balestier Khalsa (StarHub League Cup Plate Final)
19/7/14 Tampines Rovers 9-0 Police SA (StarHub League Cup Plate SF)
12/7/14 Tampines Rovers 2-3 Warriors FC (StarHub League Cup Group B)
7/7/14 Geylang International 2-1 Tampines Rovers (StarHub League Cup Group B)
1/7/14 Tanjong Pagar United 1-4 Tampines Rovers (RHB Singapore Cup QF 2nd Leg)
Head to Head (S.League)
18/4/14 Tampines Rovers 1-2 Woodlands Wellington
4/11/13 Woodlands Wellington 3-6 Tampines Rovers
29/8/13 Woodlands Wellington 3-3 Tampines Rovers
27/4/13 Tampines Rovers 3-1 Woodlands Wellington
17/7/12 Woodlands Wellington 0-3 Tampines Rovers
9/3/12 Tampines Rovers 4-0 Woodlands Wellington
16/9/11 Woodlands Wellington 0-4 Tampines Rovers
18/6/11 Tampines Rovers 5-0 Woodlands Wellington
4/4/11 Woodlands Wellington 1-3 Tampines Rovers