Warriors' Madhu wary of wounded Tampines
Madhu wary of hurt Stags, but urges Warriors to pounce
TAMPINES ROVERS v WARRIORS FC
(Saturday, 7.30pm, Jurong West Stadium)
The wounds are fresh, blood still soaking through the band aids, and things are not looking good for Tampines Rovers.
The Stags have dominated recent headlines with their cash-flow issues, and their performances seem to suggest that the boardroom infliction has spread to the pitch.
On Tuesday, V Sundramoorthy's charges suffered a 3-2 away defeat by Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi - a team they beat 4-0 just two months ago at Jalan Besar - in the AFC Cup.
They turn their attention to the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League again, to face Warriors FC on Saturday, and Madhu Mohana is looking forward to giving the proverbial kick in the gut to a downed man.
"They are tired from the travelling, their morale will be low after losing that game in Bangladesh, and I think this will be a good time to play Tampines, we are eager to play them," said the Singapore international.
However, Madhu is also aware of how dangerous a wounded beast can be, with his team also struggling.
The Warriors are sixth in the nine-team league, having amassed just nine points from eight games. They are four spots behind second-placed Tampines, who have 17 points.
Their last win came more than a month ago, a 2-0 victory over league leaders Albirex Niigata, and Jorg Steinebrunner's side have been winless in their last three fixtures.
"We are definitely not doing well ourselves... We've had open chances to score, we don't score, and then we concede and lose the game - that has cost us in three games already," said the Warriors centre back.
"We're all feeling down at the moment, and we must stop being shaky in the final period of games, we must keep our concentration… and not concede goals, that's very important.
"We've worked hard (since last Friday's 2-1 loss to Home United), and we are eager to bounce back, and there's no better way to do it than get a win against Tampines."
The Stags have eight players from the disbanded LionsXII side on their roster, and Madhu believes the familiarity he has with his former teammates will help his cause.
Besides Madhu, the left-sided Shaiful Esah is the only other LionsXII alumnus on the Warriors' books.
"They've got several of my former teammates there, and I know them well from all the time we spent together, their strengths and weaknesses. I think that is to our advantage."
Although the Stags are on a low, Madhu knows they will be just as eager as his Warriors to bounce back.
He said: "We're not sure how true all the talk about financial issues are, but we cannot be complacent.
"They are not going to roll over for us. They are still a good side, and we must be at our best."