Defiant Steinebrunner says Geylang won't finish last
Steinebrunner adamant Geylang do not deserve to finish last
GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL v HOUGANG UNITED
(Friday, 7.30pm, Singtel TV Ch 111)
From one point off the top four to rock bottom.
It has been a roller-coaster ride for Geylang International in this season's Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League.
With six matches remaining, the Eagles are bottom after last night's 4-1 loss to Tampines, two points behind Hougang in ninth spot.
But Geylang International coach Jorg Steinebrunner is not about to throw in the towel and settle for the wooden spoon, far from it.
The German is determined to prevent what would be the first time the club - and him as a head coach of any club - prop up the table.
Speaking to The New Paper before their clash against Tampines Rovers last night, Steinebrunner was defiant.
"We will not accept something like this, not on my watch. I know this, and the players know this: we don't belong there at the bottom of the table," said Steinebrunner.
"Personally, I've never finished last, and I don't intend to do that this year."
The former Woodlands Wellington and Hougang coach issued his call to arms to his charges, as he plots a climb up the league table.
"There are (six) games to go, and (18) points up for grabs, we will not surrender. What we need to do is keep calm, keep working hard, and that's exactly what we've been doing," said Steinebrunner, who rued injuries and a poor run of form that saw his team slip after being just a point shy of Home United in fourth position before the start of The New Paper League Cup in July.
The Eagles knocked out the defending League Cup champions Brunei DPMM in the group stages with a resounding 4-2 win, but fell to eventual winners Albirex Niigata at the semi-final stage.
"It is very close, very competitive this year, and that's good for the league, but the fact is that if you don't pick up points in three of four games, you're going to slide down the table," said Steinebrunner.
"We were hit hard by injuries. At one time, we had to play without three (of five) of our foreign players - Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda and Bruno Castanheira - but recently we've showed that we can still compete, and that we're getting back to our old form."
In the four games before last night's game against Tampines, Geylang have drawn with S.League champions Warriors FC and title-chasing Balestier Khalsa, and beaten the Courts Young Lions, only to fall 2-0 away to Malaysia's Harimau Muda last Friday.
"We need to get maximum points from the teams around us, and at least a point against Harimau Muda (seventh on 24 points) would have been good, but we still have games against Hougang and also the Young Lions to come," said Steinebrunner.
"We have to go out there and get it done, force the issue with a game plan, an the right amount of patience."
"We'll see if we have character, but our destiny is still in our hands, and no one wants to finish last, or even second last."