Singapore Premier League • May 18, 2014

Vallee Proud Of Charges Despite Loss


Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

After seeing his side slump to their seventh defeat of the season after a 2-1 loss to Harimau Muda on Friday night, Tanjong Pagar United coach Patrick Vallee refused to fault his players and instead hailed their effort.

“We did well, performed, played to plan and created many chances. We looked at their [Harimau’s] weaknesses and tried to use that to our advantage,” the Frenchman said after the match.

“I cannot criticise my players about their efforts for tonight. You just see how many times the Harimau Muda players went down to cramps. Did you see any Tanjong Pagar player who got cramps? Fitness-wise, you cannot say anything because we can play, we can run and we created chances throughout the 90 minutes.”

However, Vallee admitted his team have been going through a rough patch and vowed to improve.

“At this time it’s difficult for Tanjong Pagar United because everything is against us. When that happens, it’s not easy to bounce back because every week something happens,” he lamented.

“But that doesn’t mean we give up, we must work and continue like that hopefully some injured players come back and we will try close the gap with teams ahead of us in the table.”

Standing in for head coach Razip Ismail, Harimau’s assistant coach Mat Zan Mat Aris was similarly pleased with the performance from his charges although he felt that there was still room for improvement.

“The players played to the game plan. We know that Tanjong Pagar can play long ball behind our defenders and that they would leave gaps on the flanks which we exploited,” explained the former Terengganu FA tactician.

“In the first-half we didn’t play well as we didn’t keep the ball well but we kept the ball better in the second-half. We have to be compact, our midfield and defence but I was quite satisfied with what we did in the second-half.”

With six points now in the bag, Mat Zan hoped that this would translate into better showings as they attempt to lift themselves off the bottom of the table.

He said: “We now have six points and the Courts Young Lions have eight points and Tanjong Pagar have nine. We still have the second round and many more games to come so I hope that the boys have more confidence and hopefully good performances will follow.”