Warriors unfazed by star-studded Tampines
They face the title favourites, but Steinebrunner's not fazed about Pennant and Co
WARRIORS FC v TAMPINES ROVERS
(Tonight, 7.30pm, StarHub TV Ch 112/205 & 76.25MHz)
Both teams kicked off their Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League campaigns with thrilling draws, coming from behind to collect a point.
In the build-up to tonight's "live" game at the Jalan Besar Stadium, star-studded Tampines Rovers, the title favourites, have emphasised that they want three points.
Their opponents, Warriors FC, also want the same.
Coach Jorg Steinebrunner, whose side enjoyed an extra day's rest over their rivals, was at Jurong West Stadium on Monday to catch the Stags' 3-3 draw with Geylang International.
He says he has analysed the strengths and weaknesses of the Stags.
"My focus was a little bit more on Tampines," he told The New Paper, before a training session at Woodlands Stadium.
"I saw good things and bad things. There are always things that we need to look at, to see which things we can take advantage of, and which we need to make sure they don't take advantage of."
The Eagles did well to limit the space of the Tampines players in their meeting on Monday, but Steinebrunner refused to say if his team would adopt similar tactics against a team that could well start their top signing, former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant.
"It doesn't mean because the opponents of Tampines did certain things well in the first game, if we do the same, it will work out," he said.
"Hopefully, we pull off our tactics and maybe do it better. Every team have a different approach to defend or attack against a team like Tampines.
"The important thing is that we go there knowing that we are a good team."
Coached by V Sundramoorthy, Tampines drafted in a whole host of players from the defunct Malaysian Super League side, the LionsXII, a number of them Singapore internationals and, with sponsorship help, signed 33-year-old Pennant.
They are clearly the team to beat this season, but the Warriors' German coach insists his men will go for the win tonight.
"I have never coached teams to go somewhere and say we are going to play for a draw, because the mindset will be wrong," Steinebrunner said.
"If you try to play for a point from the start of the game, if suddenly in the game you are down, the mindset will be negative."
Veteran Warriors goalkeeper Yazid Yasin said the aim would be a win, but a point would not be at all bad.
"Every victory is important," he told TNP. "As it will be against the hot favourites in the league, a favourable result will be good. But a win will be a bonus."
Teammate Nikola Rak, who provided the assist for his side's last-gasp equaliser against the Protectors, said: "Tampines got two red cards. I don't know if that's good or bad for us because they have 20, 25 players, all good players.
"But we'll do the best we can. I hope we have good support and that we win."