News • June 11, 2016
Stags’ New Coach Akbar Ready For DPMM’s Test
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Tampines Rovers vs Brunei DPMM
(Saturday, 11 June, 8pm, Jurong West Stadium)
Newly appointed Tampines Rovers head coach Akbar Nawas will face his first test against Brunei DPMM on Saturday but the former assistant to V Sundram Moorthy does not want to put undue pressure on his team, who currently lie second in the S.League standings.
“It is a big match but I don’t want to give unnecessary pressure to the players. We will take a game at at time and we are focus on the DPMM match for now,” said Akbar.
“I been with him (Sundram) since one and half years ago. There are many things that I learn from him. From the way he set-up the team during training and the tactical approach to the game. Sundram is also very meticulous,” added the Stags head coach.
But while Akbar is trying his best to divert any unwanted pressure away from his players, he admitted that he personally is feeling some of it.
“In any job that we undertake the pressure will be there. Everybody expect us to have a certain amount of expectations and for us to challenge for the title,” explained Akbar who will be assisted by Herman Zailani.
Tampines are currently seven points adrift of leaders Albirex Niigata (S), and Akbar will be keen to have his strongest possible line-up against Steve Kean’s charges.
“We won’t be starting with Hafiz Sujad as he has been playing lots of game, 120 minutes in India and with the national team. For the rest, I expect them to start and perform well.
“As you know that Shakir Hamzah and Noh Rahman is out injured and Shahdan Sulaiman is on a long-term injury. Izzdin Shafiq is also suspended for this match and hopefully Izwan Mahbud will be fit to play.
“But this presents a perfect opportunity for the other players who have not been playing to step up and stake a claim in the first team. We will have one or two prime league players on the bench,” explained Akbar.
DPMM is in fifth position on 18 points and a win for them will close the gap between Tampines and DPMM to just a point. But they have only managed a win in their last five games, a 3-2 win over Hougang United.
Suspension: Izzdin Shafiq (Tampines Rovers)
Tampines Rovers – DWLDW
24/05/16 Mohun Bagan 1-2 Tampines Rovers (AFC Cup)
17/05/16 Warriors FC 0-0 Tampines Rovers
13/05/16 Tampines Rovers 1-2 Home United (S.League)
10/05/16 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Selangor FA (AFC Cup)
04/05/16 Hougang United 1-1 Tampines Rovers (S.League)
Brunei DPMM – LLDWL
19/05/16 Home United 5-0 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
14/05/16 Brunei DPMM 3-2 Hougang United (S.League)
05/05/16 Warriors FC 1-1 Brunei DPMM (S.League)
30/04/16 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Geylang International (S.League)
22/04/16 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Albirex Niigata (S) (S.League)
Head To Head (S.League)
19/03/16 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Tampines Rovers
28/10/15 Brunei DPMM 1-0 Tampines Rovers
01/08/15 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Brunei DPMM
10/05/15 Brunei DPMM 2 – 0 Tampines Rovers
31/10/14 Tampines Rovers 2 – 1 Brunei DPMM