Brunei DPMM coach Rene Weber reckons his team have no advantage over a powerful Young Lions side when they meet on Wednesday.
The Wasps have had an inconsistent start to the campaign and if they are to challenge Albirex Niigata FC (S) for the Singapore Premier League (SPL) title, they will need maximum points against Fandi Ahmad’s young charges.
BACKGROUND: By all accounts, three wins and a draw from five games is a decent record for any side and that is what Brunei DPMM FC have accomplished thus far.
But that is not good enough for DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber, who believes his side can achieve more as they aim to reclaim the league title that they won in 2015.
“Yes I am happy about the team, but I tell them we can do more,” Weber told FOX Sports Asia. “They are training so strongly in a good way and have good techniques. Technique makes a difference and we have it, but we just need to improve our organization in the field.”
DPMM’s previous game came on May 13, a 2-1 win over Balestier Khalsa which took a lot out of their players but they will benefit from a 10-day break since.
This will probably aid them in their quest to earn maximum points against Young Lions, who will have to play their third game in one week.
These games might take a toll on the national developmental side but they will be galvanized by the comeback win against Hougang, where Ikhsan Fandi and Naufal Azman etched their name onto the scoresheet.
Ikhsan in particular will be gunning for more, after breaking his SPL duck since he made his debut for Home United FC in 2016.
Knowing that DPMM have failed to keep a clean sheet so far will surely boost Ikhsan’s confidence of finding the target again too.
That said, the Young Lions will also face the same issue, having only kept one clean sheet in six games since they earned a 2-0 win over Hougang in their season-opener.
History could be made on the day too if the Young Lions can overcome DPMM and clinch a win. Since the Bruneian club’s re-entry into the domestic league in 2012, the Young Lions have failed to beat them in 16 league encounters.
TEAM NEWS: The Young Lions were unable to assess their squad after the game against Hougang as the team were given a day off to recuperate.
However, the services of Naqiuddin Eunos and Captain Taufiq Muqminin might still be unavailable after both missed that game due to injuries.
DPMM Head Coach Weber reported of no injuries and is looking forward to a good game with a full team to choose from.
Young Lions: WLDLW
Brunei DPMM: WLWDW
18/11/17 Young Lions 1-2 DPMM – Singapore Premier League
07/10/17 DPMM 7-1 Young Lions – Singapore Premier League
13/05/17 Young Lions 0-0 DPMM – Singapore Premier League
26/09/16 DPMM 5-3 Young Lions – Singapore Premier League
19/06/16 Young Lions 1-1 DPMM – Singapore Premier League
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR:
Ikhsan Fandi (Young Lions)
The youngster made his professional debut with Home United on Valentine’s Day in 2016 in a 2-2 draw with Warriors, but had never managed to find the back of the net.
After a long wait, Fandi’s second son finally got the monkey off his back and another impressive display was rewarded with his first professional goal. Can the talented forward finally get into scoring form?
Azwan Saleh (DPMM)
Perhaps not the biggest name around but Azwan Saleh’s crosses are pretty decent and with big man Volodymyr Priyomov up front, DPMM will be counting on his deliveries to make the Young Lions hurt.
Irfan Fandi will have his hands full trying to repel the balls that come into the Young Lions’ danger area.
WHAT ELSE THEY SAID:
Young Lions midfielder Hami Syahin: “It is definitely important for us to get the three points because that will only boost our morale and confidence. We also do not want to repeat history which is to end the season at last placing so I think the win is so important so we get to climb up the table. Playing our third game in one week is definitely a challenge plus it is also during the Ramadan period. But I believe that this is not something unusual for us because during the Hassanal Bolkiah tournament, we played back to back games. It is important for us to recover well and be ready to fight again. It is a challenge but it will not be an issue for us”
Brunei DPMM Head Coach Rene Weber: “I am expecting a difficult game against Young Lions, they have a young team and power. It will not be an easy game, but I hope to win, because we are becoming stronger game by game, and playing good football as I like it to be. We have no advantage over them, they are a young team and also we will play 23 and 26…so two games also in three days, so it is not excuses for any one.”