Written By: Shawn Lim
Geylang International vs Hougang United
(Monday, 9 November, 7:30pm, Bedok Stadium)
Geylang International coach Jorg Steinebrunner has called on his side to finish their Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League by staying unbeaten in their last two matches in order not to finish as wooden spoonist.
The Eagles are currently on a three-match unbeaten run and have a chance to move above eight-placed Courts Young Lions if they manage to bag all three points against Hougang United at Bedok Stadium on Monday.
Having spent a majority of the season as cellar-dwellers, Steinebrunner strongly believes that the Eagles can still salvage their season by beating the Cheetahs and defending champions Warriors FC.
“There’s a difference between just saying you are confident or you actually mean it. It’s the same, you can say people have passion but either you have it or don’t have it,” the German said after his side’s 2-2 draw with Young Lions.
“In our case, you need to be confident. You need to be sometimes realistic and say what’s our chances and how you going to work things out.
“In the end of the day, if you come to play football and you step into the field without confidence, you have lost the battle anyway.”
Even though the Eagles might not have an easy time against Hougang, whom they lost 1-0 in the reverse fixture earlier this season, Steinebrunner wants his players to adopt a never-say-die attitude.
“To be honest, it doesn’t matter who we play. Even if Geylang International plays Brazil tomorrow, we know we might not stand a chance, but you should be confident to go out and play football.
“We should say “Look, when we get the ball, we should keep the ball, try to do some work and not just have 10 players behind the man..and kick the long ball and hope for the best.” “
“That was what we showed today (against Courts Young Lions), same like against (Brunei) DPMM and the second half against Home United.”
Meanwhile, Hougang’s new man at the helm, K.Balagumaran suffered a defeat in his first match as head coach, after watching his side fell to a 2-1 defeat to Harimau Muda in their previous game.
Even though the Cheetahs are winless in their past five matches and are on the verge of finishing at the bottom of the table with only two games left to play in the season, Balagumaran wants his players to play without pressure.
“I will tell the players to go and enjoy the next game, don’t put pressure on themselves. Whatever happens, just enjoy the game and the result will come,” the former Gombak United coach said after the loss to the Young Tigers.
While a victory for the Cheetahs over the Eagles will keep them in the current position, it will be a shot in the arm for the Hougang-based club in their bid to climb off the foot of the table.
Key Men to Watch
Hougang United: Nurhilmi Jasni
Currently the club’s second-top scorer in the league with five goals, the captain has been a bright spark for the Cheetahs this season, putting in consistent performances on a regular basis.
Aside from having pace to burn, Nurhilmi also has a knack for being in the right place and right time to convert goalscoring opportunities.
Geylang International: Shawal Anuar
The 24-year-old attacking midfielder has been a revelation for the Eagles since being promoted from their Prime League squad this season.
Exhibiting hard work and playmaking skills, Shawal was one of the best players on the field for Geylang against Young Lions, constantly winning challenges and even got on the scoresheet himself.