Hougang coach Aw ready for clash with former employers
|HOUGANG UNITED||HOME UNITED|
Two men will face their former teams for the first time when Hougang United host Home United in their Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League match tomorrow.
Prowling the Cheetahs' technical area at the Hougang Stadium will be head coach Philippe Aw, who spent 14 years as a player, and then coach, at Home United.
The 38-year-old ended his association with the Protectors at the end of last season to take the reins of Hougang's S.League team.
Out on the pitch, Home United striker Stipe Plazibat will look to inflict damage against Hougang, for whom he plundered 15 goals for last season.
The 26-year-old Croat has been in red hot form for his new side, scoring 13 goals in eight games across all competitions.
This includes two four-goal hauls, against the Young Lions in the S.League, and Vietnam side Than Quang Ninh in the AFC Cup.
Aw said he was looking forward to facing his former club.
"Of course it feels a bit funny to line up against Home United, because I was there for 14 years," he said.
"People will say there is an added incentive because I'm up against my ex-club, but at Hougang, we approach every game to win it.
Of course it feels a bit funny to line up against Home United, because I was there for 14 years.Hougang coach Philippe Aw
"So this one is no different."
The coach is aware of the attacking threat Plazibat and Home pose.
The Protectors have scored 11 goals in just three S.League matches, but Aw is backing his charges to do some damage themselves.
"We know we are playing the form team and in-form player in Stipe," said Aw.
"So in this game, it's important we defend as a team.
"Home have made big signings this season in players like Hassan (Sunny), Izzdin (Shafiq) and Hariss (Harun), who are seasoned national players and leaders.
"But I know we will create chances ourselves, for sure.
"It's a matter of whether we can finish them."
Profligacy in front of goal has cost Hougang twice already this season, in defeats by Tampines Rovers (2-1) and Brunei DPMM (2-0).
Said Aw: "In our two losses so far, we've matched our opponents. It's not like we were outplayed on either occasion.
"We feel like we've dropped points and didn't deserve to lose the games.
"The main thing we have to start doing is finish off our chances." - SAZALI ABDUL AZIZ