News • February 22, 2016

Sundram Upbeat Ahead Of AFC Cup Opener


Written by: Stanley Yeo

Coach V. Sundramoorthy stressed the need for Tampines Rovers to be compact and focused in defence when they take on Bangladeshi champions Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi in the first game of the AFC Cup Group E encounter on Tuesday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Having conceded six goals in the past two Great Eastern-Yeo’s S.League games, Sundram is concerned about Tampines’ defence,“Our defence must play above themselves in order not to concede anything.”

Team captain, Mohamed Noh bin Rahman echoed his coach’s sentiments when asked about the need to keep their defence tight,” I think the coach has worked on this in training and of course, we will be aiming to not concede any goal against Sheikh Jamal.”

Sundram stated that it is important not to be overconfident and he identified Sheikh Jamal’s foreign players as the main threats in this tie, “ We know that they were the champions of Bangladesh for the past two seasons. They have African players that will probably play as two strikers.”

On the other hand, Sheik Jamal head coach Shafiqul Islam Manik named his side as the underdogs in this game due to the lack of preparation time, “Our preparation are not up to mark as we had very little time before this game.”

The 46-year-old coach added,”We do know that Tampines is a good side with good foreign players but [we still have a chance], whoever plays well for 90 minutes will win the match”.

Despite Tampines’ questionable defence, coach Sundram remains upbeat when asked about the Stags’ chance of reaching the quarterfinals of the AFC Cup.

“Defensively we are working, we will keep it tight behind and going forward, we have enough firepower with Billy, Jermaine and Jordan to get the goals for us.”

He also added that with the quality of this team, he has every right to be confident, “From my point of view, this will be a good opportunity. With this team, we can dream. We can dream of reaching the next stage of the AFC Cup.”

The match will be held at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday, 23 February 2016, kick-off at 7.30pm.