Home coach Aidil: Forget win over Persija, focus on next game
Home coach Aidil urges his team not to dwell on victory over Persija Jakarta
Home United may have clinched a stunning 3-1 away win over Persija Jakarta in their AFC Cup Asean zone semi-final, second leg on Tuesday, but coach Aidil Sharin wants his charges to erase the result from their minds.
When they touched down on home soil yesterday, it was back to business with Aidil urging his boys not to let the result, which secured a 6-3 aggregate victory , get to their heads.
He told The New Paper yesterday: "Of course, I'm happy with their performance, but it's over. That was just one game and we can't afford to think backwards.
"We need to forget about the AFC Cup win and look forward to the Balestier game.
"It's going to be a whole different game with different tactics, so we need to switch our focus."
Home's next match is against Balestier Khalsa in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) at 8.30pm on Saturday at the National Stadium.
In Jakarta, the Protectors clinched a victory against the odds. They overcame an intimidating atmosphere, with an AFC Cup record 62,198 fans turning the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium into a cauldron.
On the pitch, they got the better of a team that looked the stronger side on paper, and boasted four foreign imports compared to Home's two.
Aidil said: "It was quite intimidating at the start, but once we settled in, we proved that even as a young team we could cope well and hold them back."
Shahril Ishak's early double in the sixth and 12th minutes, which sandwiched a penalty by Persija's Marko Simic, settled the nerves.
To rub salt into Persija's wounds, their Brazilian defender Jaimerson da Silva was sent off after a second bookable offence in the 37th minute, leaving the Protectors to capitalise with a third goal through Song Ui Young just before half-time.
When asked how he motivated his boys, Aidil said: "One of the things I always tell them is that everybody will be watching us from home, and watching out for those who play well.
"And if you play well, people will want to pay you well next season, so we've got nothing to lose...
"We knew a first-half lead would really help us because we didn't go there just to defend, we went there to put up a fight."
The Protectors coach also attributed his team's triumph to their ample preparation time, following the postponement of last Saturday's SPL match against Tampines Rovers.
Said Aidil: "It wasn't only about the game, it was the preparation we had, because rescheduling the Tampines game really helped us.
"If we had not trained and prepared well, it would've been difficult to go over to Senayan and get the result."
The AFC Cup Asean zone final, which is likely to be played over two legs in late July and early August, will be a repeat of last year's fixture, with Home meeting Philippine side Ceres Negros.
Ceres lost 3-2 to Myanmar's Yangon United in their semi-final, second leg yesterday, but progressed 6-5 on aggregate.
Home also faced Ceres in the group stage this season, beating the Philippine side 2-0 away and drawing with them 1-1 at home.