Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Singapore – Recently-installed Singapore coach Bernd Stange is looking forward to seeing his new charges in competitive action for the first time on Wednesday when they take on Oman in an AFC Asian Cup 2015 qualifier at Jalan Besar Stadium.
The German tactician, who was named as the successor to the long-serving Raddy Avramovic in May, has only seen his team play twice so far in friendlies against Myanmar and Laos in June.
But after working intensely on the training ground with his players over the past three months, Stange is confident that they are ready to take on the Middle Eastern side.
“I am very happy that we have strong opponents so we can show what we can deliver in the game,” said the 65-year-old, who had a short spell as Oman’s national coach in 2001.
“I am looking forward to seeing what the boys can do tomorrow. They are confident and they did a very good job during the training period.
“You cannot compare Oman with Myanmar and Laos but finally we are ready and we will try to bring the best out of us and we will see how it works.”
While Singapore are a powerhouse in the South-East Asian region, winning the AFF Suzuki Cup for the fourth time last December, they have often fared poorly against Middle Eastern sides and were trounced 4-0 by Jordan in their Group A opener in February.
Stange has addressed that by working on a quick-passing, high-pressure pressing game in training and he feels that the players are ready now to take the game to their opponents on the artificial turf of the JalanBesar Stadium.
“I have found a very good base of how to play football in this team because they are very compact and they are very strong in defending,” he said.
“That is part of the nature of the team because they are usually the underdogs but we are trying to do a little bit more for dominating the game especially as we have three home games to come against Oman, Syria and Jordan.
“We go match by match but every single match we want to win. Our target is to win the match tomorrow and then we will go to our next match - that’s the only way.
Oman have won their last six matches against Singapore and they will be looking to build on their opening 1-0 win against Syria in February.
Despite the absence of the injured star trio of goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, midfielder Ahmed Mubarak and striker Amad Al Hosni, the Omanis are favoured to take all three points although coach Paul Le Guen sounded anote of caution ahead of their first competitive match since they were eliminated from the FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifiers after a 1-0 loss to Jordan in June.
“We are concentrated because we know we have to build towards our qualification,” said the Frenchman. “We won our first game but it is not done and we know that we have to go on and we have to keep our concentration.
“This period is always a little bit difficult for the Oman national team because it is just after Ramadan and the league in Oman has not yet started.
“I think that it will be a very tough game difficult game because of the timing of the match, the quality of our opponents and the artificial pitch because we are not used to playing official games on that surface.
“So I have told my players to be very concentrated and to be very focused and to know that it will be tough.”