Geylang caretaker coach Noor Ali ranks substance over style
Noor Ali is focused on getting results
|TAMPINES ROVERS||GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL|
Noor Ali has yet to hear anything from the Geylang International management about the fate of head coach Hasrin Jailani.
But the caretaker coach knows that if he is to make a convincing case for taking over the job on a permanent basis, he has to deliver results.
He has a good opportunity to make a strong statement of intent tonight, when his Eagles side take on Tampines Rovers at the Jurong West Stadium.
Hasrin is on two weeks' personal leave, but The New Paper understands that he is set to leave the club, with Noor Ali taking over the reins for the remainder of the season at least.
Noor Ali said: "The club have not said anything about the status of Hasrin, or if I am to take full charge of the team for the rest of the season. Until they do, I will just carry on with the job to prepare the team.
"The boys did well against Global, who made it to the Asean zonal semi-finals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup and, based on that game, I got what I wanted from the boys."
He was referring to his side's performance against Philippine side Global Cebu in the RHB Singapore Cup last week, when they drew 4-4, but were eventually eliminated on penalties.
In what was Noor Ali's first game in charge of Geylang, he was able to draw comfort from the work ethic and grit he saw from his charges, who forced extra-time despite being 4-2 down with just 15 minutes of normal time remaining.
But he also has no illusions about the challenges ahead.
He said: "I've been with this team for a year-and-a-half now, and I know the players.
"As a coach I have my own way of playing, but I know it will take time for the team to start playing the style that I want.
"Like any coach, I want my team to play good football, but I won't demand that they play attractive football or attacking football because, at this point, what matters are results."
Noor Ali's pragmatic view stems from their modest position in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League table.
The Eagles, on 14 points after 11 matches, currently sit fifth in the nine-team league standings, a massive 13 points behind their opponents this evening.
After this match, Geylang have 12 more league games to play, while The New Paper League Cup will also kick off in about a fortnight's time.
Climbing up the league ladder is Noor Ali's priority for now.
On tonight's clash with Tampines, he said: "How we play will depend on what we need to do against our opponents.
"The boys have shown against Global that they can stick to the game plan and that is very positive. So, let's see what we can do from here."
- Geylang Int'l v Garena Young Lions (7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
- Warriors FC v Brunei DPMM (7.30pm, Choa Chu Kang Stadium)