DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean instructing his players during a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium. BT/ Yee Chun Leong
DPMM FC's Adi Said (C) is defended by Mohd Hendra Azam Mohd Idris (L) during their training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium. DPMM FC will play Balestier Khalsa today. BT/ Yee Chun Leong
DPMM FC head coach Steve Kean believes his squad can continue their winning ways.
Brunei's only professional team will host Balestier Khalsa in the Singapore League (S-League) today at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas. DPMM FC are in good form after coming off three straight wins within a span of 10 days before a nine-day break heading into the encounter.
Kean felt that it was a well needed break and believes that they can carry the momentum forward. "When we look at the season, overall the games sometimes come very thick and fast then a break in between," said Kean in an interview with The Brunei Times after a training session yesterday at the Jerudong Mini Stadium.
"We always train well and we used the nine days to get back to the gym to continue strength and conditioning," he said. "The momentum can be continued as we practiced a lot and they were very intense. At the right time, players will get a few recovery days. The fitness level has been superb and we have only had very few injuries," continued the former Blackburn Rovers manager.
DPMM FC are the best in the League at both ends of the field with 20 goals scored while conceding only four in eight matches. They won their last two encounters - against Harimau Muda B (Malaysia national under-21 football team) and Hougang United - with cleansheets and Kean once again emphasised that defence is key.
"We are an offensive team and we will score in every game as we create many chances. Our focus is to try and minimise the goals against," said Kean. "Keeping a cleansheet is the focus and we have been working hard. Our philosophy is that everyone becomes a defender when the ball is with the opponent," added the Scotsman.
"We try to limit our opponents and we only gave Tampines very few shots eventhough we lost the game. We will continue to keep progressing and get more cleansheets," he continued. Balestier head coach Marko Kraljevic, meanwhile, is expecting a difficult battle to try and upend the hosts especially since they are missing key player Korean Park Kang-jin in midfield.
"We go into every game expecting to win. But it will be tough as they are a lot better than last year," said Kraljevic. "They are playing well and have five good import players. It is a good mixture with the local players and they look promising especially after they beat Home United 3-0.
"We are missing our playmaker (Park). He is the middleman, connecting our attack and defence. We are struggling without him. "We have a good team but we are a bit shaken and need a bit of time to regroup especially mentality," he said.
Kickoff is at 8.15pm. The other match pits three-time defending champions Tampines Rovers against Tanjong Pagar United at the Jalan Bear Stadium at 7.30pm.
Meanwhile, Warriors FC leapfrogged DPMM FC to the top of the 12-team table after edging the Young Lions (Singapore Under-23 football team) 3-2 last night at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore. The Warriors are on 19 points while the Brunei side are a point back.
The other match saw Hougang United made to work hard for a 4-3 triumph over winless Harimau Muda B at Pasir Gudang in Johor Bahru.