Singapore Premier League • September 20, 2015

Sundram Concedes Title Race Is Out Of Stags’ Hands


Written by: Nigel Chin

Tampines Rovers coach V. Sundramoorthy admitted that the Stags no longer have a say in the title race following a shock 1-0 home defeat to Courts Young Lions on Saturday.

Victory would have brought Tampines to within six points of leaders Brunei DPMM with a game in hand, but instead, they now trail by a whopping eight points with just nine games to go.

Sundram, who cut a dejected figure at the post-match press conference, acknowledged that his team will now need ‘favours’ from others to stand a chance of lifting the title at the end of the season.

“We need to depend on other teams to do a favour for us, and we need to do a favour for ourselves by winning games,” Sundram said.

“It’s a big upset by the Courts Young Lions. Like what I said previously, you must be consistent to climb up the table.

“I thought after the Harimau Muda game, we turned a corner and we were going for the kill, but things didn’t really turn up the way we expected.”

However, Sundram still believes in his charges and he wants his side to put this defeat behind them and look forward to the next few games.

“You can’t say the boys didn’t try. I think they gave everything,” Sundram stated.

“Three days ago, everything went in but today, the ball just didn’t want to go in. That’s part of the game.

“The thing is we kept going until the 95th minute. The boys tried [their best]. We should keep going… we must pick ourselves up and move on.”

His opposite number, Juergen Raab, was left gushing over M. Anumanthan’s winning goal though.

The midfielder scored a stupendous strike from 20 yards in the 16 minute and it turned out to be the only goal of the game.

“It was a fantastic goal,” Raab said.  “It was a little bit lucky. Yesterday he worked on his left foot because that is his weakness and today, he scored such a goal.

“That was the best reward.”

Raab was also impressed with his charges’ performance against the Stags, having came into the game on the back of two consecutive defeats.

“It was an expected hard match for us… they are a team with experienced players who are very clever,” Raab assessed

“The first 30 minutes was very good from our team and the lead was deserved.

“What they showed as a young team, the fight they have delivered, I have to say it was very strong.

“We want to make [improvements] step by step. That was an important victory after two defeats and for me, it was important to see that the team has learned.”