Singapore Premier League • March 27, 2014

Vallee Delighted With Narrow Young Lions Victory


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Tanjong Pagar United edged Courts Young Lions 3-2 at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday evening, thanks to Monsef Zerka’s hat-trick.

It was only their second victory in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League, but one which Tanjong Pagar coach Patrick Vallee savoured.

“Of course, after three games we finally got the win we wanted,” Vallee said after the match.

“I’m happy about the effort of the team. You could see that Firdaus [Idros], Asraf [Rashid], Sebastien [Etiemble] and Monsef did a lot of work defensively to help the defence and our full-backs also tried to support the team offensively.

“I’m very proud of my players tonight. They never gave up, they put in a lot of effort, the same as we did in our last few games where we lost. It’s not easy and very difficult to win one game in S.League and i know that and today was very difficult.”

Although Zerka broke his goalscoring duck, the Frenchman believed that it was a result of a team effort.

“It’s very good for him but you know if Monsef can score three goals today it is because the other ten men do a lot of work to help him to score,” he pointed out.

“I think Monsef will not focus only on the three goals because he wants the team to win, he plays for the team. I’m very happy for him today but not only for him but also the team because it’s 11 men who put effort to win this game. For Monsef it’s a good start and i hope he can score more but the most important thing is the win and it doesn’t matter who scored.”

In contrast, Young Lions coach Aide Iskandar was far from pleased about the result but vowed to improve.

“I’m very disappointed with the result, I thought we could have done better,” he lamented.

“In terms of performance, I was happy we created chances and scored two goals. We had chances to actually equalise and get at least one point.

“But, i was not very happy with the way we defended. We need to put in a lot of hard work in order for them not to repeat the same mistakes again. We also need to stop conceding goals – that’s the priority from now on.

With an away trip to Brunei to face DPMM looming, Aide admitted it will not be easy but hoped his boys will be able to gain something out of that match as they begin their preparations for the Southeast Asian Games in Singapore next year.

“Every game will not be easy for us, even Tanjong Pagar was not an easy opponent tonight,” he said.

“I know DPMM have good foreign players so i think it’s a good opportunity for the boys to learn, to test themselves to play against quality players.

“I think we all know the long-term plan for this group of boys is to actually build them up for the SEA Games so we are using every opportunity at this point of time to make sure they grow and learn. And i do hope they learn fast because we have very little time left.”

Finally, the ex-international had words of praise for Zerka, the man who put three past his team.

“I have to give credit to Zerka because he used his experience to get the three goals. He did well and they deserved to win,” he remarked.