Kean banks on Chilean duo to spark DPMM revival
|ALBIREX NIIGATA||BRUNEI DPMM|
The last time a Steve Kean side lost by six goals or more, they bounced back immediately with a win.
That was in 2012, when Blackburn Rovers were thumped 7-1 by a Robin van Persie-led Arsenal in the Premier League, but they rebounded from that humiliation with a 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers a week later.
Five years on, Kean is backing his Brunei DPMM team to show a similar level of resilience when they visit Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League leaders Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium tonight.
DPMM were thrashed 9-3 by Home United in their last league outing three weeks ago, before the international break.
Kean said the mid-season intermission has been beneficial to his side.
The Scot told The New Paper: "What we've done is to get some new players - import trialists, and a couple of local players - in just to see if we could find another formula to click together.
"And when you sign new players, they bring an enthusiasm to the training sessions, and it changes the atmosphere.
"It's probably a good thing we've not had a game for the last few weeks, but I must say, it has not been hard to pick the boys' morale up."
DPMM have parted ways with Montenegrin defender Zeljko Savic and English striker Billy Mehmet, and replaced them with Chilean duo Vincent Salas and Daud Gazale.
Salas, 28, is a centre back, while 32-year-old Gazale is a former Chile international striker who played alongside Alexis Sanchez in La Roja's 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign.
But, DPMM will find in Albirex their toughest test of the season.
The White Swans have won all but one of their 10 matches this season, scoring 33 goals and conceding just six.
In the first meeting between both sides this season in March, DPMM missed several gilt-edged chances and lost 2-0 at Jurong East.
Said Kean: "The most important thing I want to see tomorrow is a much, much better performance from our team. Forget about Albirex.
"In the game against Home, nearly every shot they took was a goal, and obviously that can't happen again.
"Albirex are a strong side, especially on synthetic surface at Jurong East, but we've beaten them before.
"I honestly believe if we had scored first against them (in March), we'd have beaten them, because we were all over them in the first game.
"All we need to do is play the same way, and this time, take those chances when we create them."