Tardy to test fringe players against UAE
On Monday, they lost 2-0 to Jordan in their opening fixture of the Dubai Cup - an Under-23 tournament in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
When the Singapore U-22 team take on hosts UAE tonight, head coach Richard Tardy will take the chance to assess his fringe players, even though results are important to a team that will do battle in August's South-east Asia (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur.
"Sure, the players are the U-22 team and we must look at results too... But (we are balancing that with) our target here - performance on the field," Tardy told The New Paper in a phone interview yesterday.
"The level is high, but it is very good and very important for us to fight against teams like these.
"We have to test players against this kind of opposition and we will give a chance to some of the other players."
Singapore's other opponents in the Dubai Cup, which is played in a round-robin tournament format, are Malaysia and Thailand.
In July, the team will also play qualifying matches for the 2018 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championships.
Singapore are in Group F, along with hosts Myanmar, Brunei and Australia.
With the group winners and five best runners-up from 10 qualifying groups making the Finals in China, Singapore have a realistic shot of going through.
Tardy said: "I have 18 to 20 players in my mind who will be in the final list for the U-22 team and, for others to get in, it will be difficult, but they must prove that they deserve to be in.
"I want to see fighting spirit and mental strength, and also technical skills (in tonight's match against UAE).
"In the game, every player must go beyond his job."
Tardy was unhappy with the way his charges conceded two early goals against Jordan - the first coming after only seven minutes - but he was pleased with the fighting spirit the team displayed.
The Frenchman said: "We must learn. We must also look at results now, so we will be compact, but we won't sit too deep.
"We will try to recover the ball higher up the field and try to use our speedy players to score."
After taking on the UAE, Singapore's next game in the Dubai Cup will be against Malaysia on Sunday, before they take on Thailand next Tuesday.