Home coach insists on style despite mixed results
Home coach Aw will not sacrifice style for substance, despite his team being third from bottom
GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL v HOME UNITED
(Tomorrow, 7.30pm, StarHub TV Ch 112/205 & 76.25MHz)
He has been lauded for Home United's free-flowing, attractive football since he took over at the start of last year.
But, as Philippe Aw has found out this season, playing pretty does not always equate to winning.
Two months into the 2016 Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League campaign, the Protectors find themselves third from bottom in the nine-team competition, having picked up just eight points from their first seven matches.
It is not that they have not lived up to their displays of 2015.
On their day, Home are one of the S. League's most attractive teams to watch.
But they have been let down by poor finishing and, in last Friday's 3-0 loss to Albirex Niigata, lackadaisical defending cost them dearly.
However, ahead of tomorrow's encounter with Geylang International, Aw insists that having style over substance is not something he is willing to compromise.
"If you're leading 1-0 with 10 minutes to go, then fine… You can forget about playing good football in order to keep the three points," he told The New Paper.
"But to go into a game and say we're just coming for the three points and not play our style of football, that's something I won't do.
"We are a team that play football and it's not easy to change to one that play long balls overnight, even if we wanted to do that.
"You need a certain kind of player who is tall and strong and able to hold the ball up. We have a forward like Ken Ilso but, if we're going to play long balls, then that's a real waste of his talent.
"This year, we've brought in a host of attacking players and it will take time for them to settle and get used to our system.
"If we continue to work harder together, I'm sure the results will come."
Although the Protectors find themselves at the wrong end of the table, Aw is confident that the nature of the 2016 campaign means that they do not have to ring the alarm bells for now.
"The last game was important for us because we wanted to stay in touch with the leaders, but now we're six points behind," added the Home tactician.
"Having said that, many people say we haven't had a good start, but we're still not very far away.
"That's how competitive this year is and we're expecting another tough game against Geylang.
"It's an important game but, after this, there are still two full rounds to play.
"That's 16 games with 48 points up for grabs, so it's certainly not make or break just yet."
We haven’t had a good start, but we’re still not very far away. That’s how competitive this year is and we’re expecting another tough game against Geylang. It’s an important game but, after this, there are still two full rounds to play.
— Home United coach Philippe Aw (above)
Players like Sahil (Suhaimi) and Amy (Recha) have to learn fast and work together to score the goals. In the last game, there was no hunger and desire from the players. It is important for both the senior and younger players to show their attitude.
— Geylang coach Hasrin Jailani (above)
- Warriors FC v Hougang United
- Geylang International v Home United
- Brunei DPMM v Balestier Khalsa
- Albirex Niigata v Tampines Rovers
Hasrin calls for passion from Eagles
STRIKE: Geylang coach Hasrin wants players like Sahil (running) to find the target soon. PHOTO: BERITA HARIAN FILE
Having assembled a talented squad brimming with defensive stalwarts, midfield schemers and exciting attackers, the season started brightly for Hasrin Jailani and Geylang International.
A thrilling 3-3 draw with perennial title contenders Tampines Rovers was followed by a gritty 1-1 stalemate against defending champions Brunei DPMM, before a 2-0 triumph over Garena Young Lions completed a fine start to the new Great Eastern-Yeo's S. League season.
Since then, however, the Eagles have managed just three draws and a defeat and scored just three goals - a worrying tally considering the weapons of destruction at Hasrin's disposal.
The combination of Croatian striker Branko Cubrilo, pacy attackers Amy Recha and Sahil Suhaimi, and skilful wingers Gabriel Quak and Stanely Ng should make for quite a potent attack, yet playmaker Carlos Delgado (three goals) is their only player who has netted more than once.
But, asked if he was concerned about Geylang's offensive woes, the easy-going Hasrin insisted the main focus was to get back to winning ways in tomorrow's clash with Home United at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
"Right now, the score is less important to me as long as the team win," Hasrin told The New Paper.
"The most important thing we have to do in order to achieve that is to work hard.
"At the moment, we don't have a player who can maybe get us 20 goals this season, but more crucial is what we can do collectively.
"Players like Sahil and Amy have to learn fast and work together to score the goals, so that we don't just rely on one player."
While their displays have not exactly been poor despite their lack of wins, last week's 3-1 loss to Hougang was one where they showed a distinct lack of passion.
Insisting his charges can ill afford a repeat, Hasrin added: "In the last game, there was no hunger and desire from the players.
"Now, it is important for both the senior and younger players to show their attitude.
"Both Home United and us need the win, but I think we need it more. Having lost our unbeaten start, the players must bounce back from defeat."
- GABRIEL TAN