Lions hungry for victory
Coach Sundram says they won't take the Maldives for granted as they seek first win in over a year
The Maldives' head coach Petar Segrt has vowed to make it difficult for Singapore in their football friendly at the National Stadium tonight.
Singapore's past five matches with the Maldives have ended in victories, with the Lions trouncing them 4-0 in their last encounter in 2011.
In the Maldives' last game in November, they were thrashed 8-1 by Palestine in an Asian Cup qualifier.
Despite their losing record in their previous meetings, Segrt refused to dismiss his young team's chances of delivering a favourable result, believing that they will put up a good fight in his first game in charge of the Maldives.
At the pre-match conference, he said: "Singapore have played five games against the Maldives and every time, Singapore have won.
"We will play an open game. We will not just stand there for 90 minutes, that is not my philosophy. I hope 3-2 for our side, I like to have some goals. I'm not a coach who likes to play 0-0 only waiting for some contact.
"But, trust me, we will make it very hard for Singapore to win."
The 51-year-old has tasted victory over the Lions before, leading Afghanistan to a 2-1 win over Singapore in Teheran, Iran, two years ago.
He noted that the Maldives, who are ranked 150th in the Fifa world rankings - Singapore are 171 - have to take note of Singapore's pace and organisation.
But Singapore head coach V. Sundram Moorthy, 52, will not take tonight's match for granted. Singapore will be looking for their first win in over a year and Sundram knows that his charges will have to earn it with a strong performance.
He said: "We need to be at our best to get a result. The Maldives are ranked 150 and you can see they've improved a lot.
"Past results count for nothing; it's the 90 minutes on the pitch tomorrow that counts."
Even though they were winless last year, Sundram commended his players' spirit in the games and hopes that they can finally win to boost their confidence.
The former national striker said: "I hope to turn the corner and get a win. That's important for us, for the confidence and everything.
"But I believe in our boys and, in training, we were very good and I hope that it will be transferred in the match tomorrow."
Captain Hariss Harun, 27, recognised the significance of a win for the team.
The midfielder said: "Last year was not easy for us as a whole. It can be a bit demoralising, but we can put that behind.
"We have a good opportunity tomorrow. We have to be confident going into the game. Then we can play a bit better and, hopefully, achieve the result that we want."
Tickets are available at www.sportshub.com.sg/event-detail/274.