TNP League Cup final: Warriors, Albirex gunning for place in history
But they must overcome an Albirex side gunning to be first team to win three in a row
Although he took over as Warriors FC head coach last year, Razif Onn has been with the club since 1999, and has witnessed the Warriors lift the S.League trophy seven times and the RHB Singapore Cup four times during his time there.
But The New Paper League Cup has proved elusive for the nine-time league champions.
Razif, 63, has a chance to become the first Warriors coach to land the League Cup, when his team take on Albirex Niigata in the final at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight.
And he is determined to not let the golden opportunity slip.
Said the 63-year-old: "We have not won the League Cup before. For sure, it's a challenge I have to take.
"Every coach wants to win every game. I want to win and create (club) history to win our first League Cup, but at the same time, I don't want to let it get to my head.
"We have been very positive in the last few matches we played and hopefully, we will see a favourable result (tonight)."
Skipper Shahril Ishak is aware that his team will be heading into tonight's fixture as the underdogs,
But he is also confident that they have momentum on their side after beating Brunei DPMM 5-1 in the semi-finals on Tuesday.
On the sidelines of a training session yesterday, the national team captain told The New Paper: "We're ready for them.
"We know Albirex are the favourites for the Cup, but we'll stick together and we'll fight till the final whistle is blown.
"In the semi-final, we knew we were one step closer to the final. That game, the boys gave their 110 per cent and I think we deserve to be in the final.
"Everyone is eager to lift that cup - we have reached the final and we have nothing to lose. We must give a good performance and put on a good show."
At the top of the S.League table and three spots ahead of the Warriors, the White Swans have every reason to feel confident after cruising to tonight's final without suffering a defeat.
They are the only team to have won back-to-back League Cups, and they are eager to extend the streak to three with a victory at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
But Albirex coach Kazuaki Yoshinaga cautioned his side against complacency.
He said: "The Warriors are a strong attacking team with many highly skilled players.
"I think that it will be a very competitive game - the team that keeps fighting to keep their discipline until the end will win."
On the other hand, Razif still remembers clearly the two losses Albirex inflicted on them this season - the first, a league game in April and the second, a League Cup group fixture earlier this month.
He hopes that his players can learn from those lessons, and he also feels the team have improved since.
He said: "In the first game, we lost 4-2 when Albirex played long balls towards the centre, where we were unable to manage their attackers.
"Two goals were scored from that - and later, two more from a free-kick and one corner-kick.
"In the second game, we lost 2-0 but I think we managed to contain their attackers.
"The ball did not penetrate the middle much and they had less shots taken - this is very positive to me and I will take that as a gauge, as to how we will perform in the final."