To arrest slide, Tampines Rovers hit reset button
Their season had looked promising but, of late, title contenders Tampines Rovers have been far from convincing.
The Stags are winless in their last six Singapore Premier League (SPL) matches - drawing five times and losing once - and have slipped to fourth.
|TAMPINES ROVERS||YOUNG LIONS|
In a bid to lift their fortune, Stags' first-team coach Gavin Lee has made some tweaks.
"I think teams recognised what we could do and found a solution against us," said the 28-year-old. "So we had to reset and analyse not just other teams, but also ourselves."
Captain Shahdan Sulaiman, 31, echoed Lee's sentiments.
He said: "Teams know how to play us. They watch us week in, week out and know how to counter our tactics. We're also not finishing well."
The Stags, who had to juggle their SPL commitments with an AFC Cup campaign that ended with a late exit, have also been hit by the unavailability of two veterans - defender Daniel Bennett and striker Khairul Amri, who scored eight goals.
Bennett, 41, suffered a toe injury earlier this month, but is expected to be back to face Albirex Niigata next month.
Amri, 34, left to join Malaysian Super League club Felda United three weeks ago.
But Lee has backed other players such as striker Taufik Suparno, 23, to step up.
On the tactical front, he has also tweaked some areas - for instance, how to free up Shahdan, their key midfielder who is always heavily marked.
Shahdan is confident that they can still catch up with league leaders Brunei DPMM.
If they win their two games in hand over DPMM, they will reduce the gap to seven points.
Said Shahdan: "They get results even when they are not playing well. In their last game against Albirex (which ended 0-0), Albirex had chances to win but somehow DPMM still managed to get a point...
"But soon, we will have the results go our way. There's still a lot more matches to go."
- ADEENA NAGIB