Albirex coach: We have a lot to improve on
They may have won their first silverware of the season, but Albirex Niigata head coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga was hardly a happy man last night.
The 48-year-old Japanese, who took over from Naoki Naruo this season, saw his side squander a number of golden scoring opportunities in the first half of their Great Eastern Community Shield tie against Tampines Rovers at the National Stadium last night.
The Stags took the lead via Ryutaro Megumi in the 36th minute, but substitute Shoichiro Sakamoto clinched the tie for the White Swans with a brace in the 75th and 82nd minutes.
"Based on what I saw tonight, there are a lot of things that our team need to improve on," said Yoshinaga in the post-match interview.
"We have had a lot of new and young players coming in from Japan, and they have to gel into the team quickly."
The Japanese side were a pale shadow of the side that swept all four domestic titles - Community Shield, S.League, League Cup and Singapore Cup - last year, especially in the attacking department.
The White Swans lost 2016 Player of the Year Atsushi Kawata, who scored 20 goals for his team last season and moved back to the parent club in Japan this year.
"There are a lot of young and inexperienced players in this team... But the most important thing tonight is the win; we got three points and a title," Yoshinaga said.
"This title will put them in good stead."
Albirex are back in action on Saturday, when they face the Garena Young Lions at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Yoshinaga said: "The next game may be different, it depends on the quality of players and who trains well.
"Tomorrow, I will also watch the Young Lions' game (against Home United) to decide how we will play."