Aide looking for a positive showing from his Under-23 charges on Saturday
Losing to the Japan Olympic team is no shame, but Aide Iskandar is still troubled over the way his Singapore Under-23 side lost 8-1.
"You're only as good as your last result, because that's what the fans always remember," he told The New Paper yesterday, after a 75-minute training session with his young charges at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The 39-year-old wants Singapore's South-east Asia (SEA) Games hopefuls to banish the memory of the Japan defeat with a positive performance against their next opponents, Syria's Under-22s, on Saturday.
The Young Lions, who are preparing for the 2015 Great Eastern Yeo's S.League season, will face the Middle East team at the Jalan Besar Stadium in their second friendly match since returning from a three-week training stint in Turkey last month.
The result, the coach insists, is immaterial.
What matters is that his team show more fight than they did against the Samurai Blue.
On Saturday, the Under-23s let their heads drop after Japan raced to a two-goal lead after 22 minutes.
Clearly demoralised, the team lost their composure and focus and went on to concede another six goals, though substitute Irfan Fandi grabbed a late consolation.
"I've spoken to the players and told them to forget about the 8-1 defeat," Aide said.
"Against Syria, there is no pressure on them to win, but we must put in an improved performance.
"In Turkey, we lost three of our four games to very strong teams, but we kept fighting until 90 minutes in each of those games."
Centre back Shakir Hamzah, who captained the side against Japan, said the team were simply stunned by their opponents.
"We didn't expect it to be so bad, so fast," the 22-year-old said.
"We tried to contain them, but they were too good.
"Coach Aide is right though, we can't just give up like we did. Another thing we must work on is our communication on the pitch."
Against Syria, the Young Lions must do without winger Faris Ramli and star striker Sahil Suhaimi, who will both return to the LionsXII ahead of their Malaysian Super League clash against Perak in Ipoh on Saturday.
Irfan is likely to take Sahil's place up front, while former Warriors winger S Suria Prakash should start in place of Faris on the left flank.
There will also be a place in the first XI for defender Taufiq Muqminin, who, aside from Irfan, was the only other player who impressed Aide against Japan, when he came on in the second half.
Taufiq, 18, who turned out for the National Football Academy U-18s last year, will slot in at centre back alongside Shakir.
Amirul Adli will push up into midfield, next to M Anumanthan.
"We're still trying things out in defence," said former Singapore defender Aide.
"I also have Adli and (Sheikh Abdul) Hadi, who can play in centre defence as well.
"The SEA Games is in June and it's way too early to confirm anything. We will also use the S.League season to gauge who is best for which role."
Tickets for Saturday's Singapore U-23 v Syria U-22 game, which kicks off at 7.30pm, are priced at $10.00 (Grandstand) and $3.00 (Concession).
Fans may purchase their tickets from the Global Tickets' website or AXS machines islandwide from today until 4pm on matchday.
Match-day sales will commence from 1pm at Jalan Besar Stadium (North Gate), subject to availability.
*The Singapore Under-22s, which competed in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Bangladesh earlier this month, will also face Syria Under 22s at Jalan Besar at 7.30pm tomorrow. Admission is free.