Singapore Premier League • August 26, 2014
Teo: We Lacked Concentration
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Tampines Rovers had to settle for a point after they let a two-goal lead slip against Albirex Niigata (S) in a 2-2 draw at Jurong East Stadium on Monday evening.
The Stags had gone ahead through strikes from Noh Alam Shah and Jacob Butler, but Kazuki Sakamoto’s struck a brace late in the game to ensure that the spoils were shared.
Speaking after the final whistle, Tampines team manager Clement Teo admitted they were made to pay for their lack of focus but gave due credit to their opponents whom he felt responded well.
“We were 2-0 up, not being focused is I’d say the most costly in football and in many games we have played. You could tell that they really wanted it, but it was just the concentration was not there,” he lamented.
“Naturally we looked tired today, Albirex are a young side. We may be a bit old [in terms of age] but in terms of fitness we are almost there.
“You could also tell that there were some of their Albirex players who were tired, but the good thing they did was to bring on the two substitutes which troubled us a lot.”
It was also a result which dealt a blow to their title hopes and Teo is aware that they cannot afford to have any more slip-ups.
“Our job right now is to see how we can motivate the players because we have an important game on Friday. What has happened has happened and there’s no point crying over spilled milk,” he added.
“We can rally the boys, we’ve done it before. They are professionals, they need to know they can’t do anything once the final whistle has been blown because the result stands. We have to move on and make sure we beat Warriors to keep in touch with Brunei DPMM.”
Albirex coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama was meanwhile a pleased man after seeing his side come from behind to salvage a point.
“I’m happy that we could get two goals and come away with a draw,” said the 38-year-old.
“We conceded two goals tonight but I think that’s because Tampines are a good team, but we could also show our offensive side by getting two goals.
“Of course we could have scored more goals as we have been creating enough chances in every game that’s why we are in a good position on the table but as for today’s performance I’m satisfied.”
They sit in fifth, just three points behind leaders Brunei DPMM but Okuyama is not thinking about the title just as yet.
“I know our position is fifth and there’s no big gap between the top and us, but i think it’s still too soon to talk about being champions so we don’t want to discuss about it now,” he stated.