Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Singapore vs Oman
Singapore's head coach Bernd Stange has said the Lions is ready to face Oman in Wednesday's Asian Cup qualifier and get a positive result.
The game will be closely watched as it is Stange's first competitive match since taking charge of the Lions in May.
The artificial surface at Jalan Besar Stadium and the home crowd behind them are clear advantages for hosts Singapore.
But Stange is also banking on the sense of confidence he has instilled in the team, to make the difference.
"I will not say we are so far away, but I am very short time here. I feel the boys did very well and very motivated to play tomorrow's match. Nobody is afraid to face Oman, that's why we will take our chance and I personally believe we have our chance," he said.
Stange has also made changes to the team's style of play, something that has gone down well with the players.
Isa Halim, a defender with the Singapore National Football Team, said: "For the past two months he has been head coach, we have learned a lot, especially in dominating the play, off-course pressing the opponent."
On paper, Oman is clearly the better team. It is ranked 95th in the world, while the Lions are in 155th spot.
But Oman's French coach Paul le Guen knows it won't be easy, despite his team having arrived a week earlier to prepare.
"A very tough match because of the period (as it is the off-season for the Omani league), the quality of the opponent, because of the context. The artificial pitch for example, we are not used to that, even if we train for 15 days now," he said.
However, the pressure is still on Singapore.
A win will be good to keep its Asian Cup campaign alive, after losing the first game 4-0 away to Jordan in February.