Steinebrunner's Warriors to face his old club Geylang
Steinebrunner wants Warriors to stay focused in clash with former club Geylang
After a difficult start to the 2016 Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League season, Jorg Steinebrunner and Warriors FC are starting to get into their groove.
Without a win in their first two games, the Warriors have surged to within two points of surprise leaders Hougang United with 2-0 victories over Garena Young Lions and Albirex Niigata, sandwiched by a 1-1 draw with Balestier Khalsa.
They may be hitting a purple patch, but they face a big test against Geylang International tonight.
The Eagles are one of two teams yet to taste defeat this season (the other are Tampines Rovers), having won one and drawn four of their five matches.
Steinebrunner is no stranger to the Eagles having coached them for two years before taking the reins at Warriors FC, while several of his current players such as Yazid Yasin, Kento Fukuda and Hafiz Nor were all heroes at the Bedok Stadium in recent seasons.
All points to a thriller for the "live" match at the Jalan Besar Stadium, although Steinebrunner insists it is important that his side do not get caught up in the occasion.
"As a professional team, you want to be motivated for every game," the German told The New Paper before training on Wednesday.
"Of course, Geylang are my former employers and that is the same for some of my players, but is it a special game?
"No, because we're living in a professional world and to put special mention on this game would mean we risk losing focus on other games."
He might not have enjoyed the best start to life at Choa Chu Kang Stadium, but Steinebrunner was always confident that it was only a matter of time before his team turned the corner.
He explained: "Even though we got only one point from our first two games, I thought we were quite decent performance-wise.
"Yes, results are the most important in football but, to get the results, you need to have the performance.
"I always believe that if you keep doing the right things and performing to a certain level, the result will take care of itself and that's what happened in the last three games.
"So it's important to settle well and keep it over the 90 minutes on Friday and get the good performance against Geylang."
One player who could decide the outcome of the game is French striker Jonathan Behe, who has scored in five consecutive games.
Another key player who has enjoyed a fine start to the season after joining from Tampines Rovers is Shaiful Esah, who has excelled in the attacking midfielder's role thrust upon him by Steinebrunner.
"Firstly, I have to say I'm very happy with all of the players I have and I don't normally mention players individually," said Steinebrunner.
"But, with Shaiful, you know what he can bring to the team - he has one of the best left feet in probably all of South-east Asia.
"He can keep the ball well, he can pick out players with his passing range and, with players of that ability, you look to get them more involved, which is why we pushed him into a more advanced position.
"When you want up to build up the play, you need to have good ball players and that's what guys like Shaiful and Nikola (Rak) do for us."