Geylang still wary despite win

Buoyed by their unexpected 2-1 victory over S-League champions Brunei DPMM last week, Geylang International look poised to claim their first back-to-back wins of the season against the hapless Garena Young Lions tonight.

However, coach Hasrin Jailani insists that his side are staying grounded ahead of the game, despite last week's confidence- boosting win in Bandar Seri Begawan.

He said: "We'll still take things one game at a time and I've told the players to stay focused. They cannot be complacent if we want to continue winning."

Before registering only their second win of the season last week, the Eagles endured a two- month winless streak, with their previous victory coming in late February, when they beat the Young Lions 2-0 at Jalan Besar.

While the Young Lions are last in the table, Hasrin still sees the developmental squad as a threat.

The 40-year-old former Singapore international midfielder said: "The Young Lions, never mind their league placing, are still a good side. They've been improving game by game and we cannot underestimate them.

"They have a lot of speed in their young players. Fareez Farhan is doing well and Khairul Amri is back also. Our job is to just win and pick up the points."

Captain Isa Halim has another incentive to strive for victory tonight: "Over the season, we've been labelled 'draw specialists', so winning the Young Lions game will take the pressure off us."

Indeed, the Eagles have recorded the highest number of draws this season, with six stalemates. They are sixth in the standings, with 12 points from 10 games.

Isa attributed this to Geylang's previous playing style and said: "Besides aiming to get three points in every match, we also wanted to play beautiful football for the fans.

"However, when we tried to push up high to score more goals, our opponents ended up punishing us.

"Our coach has corrected that and last week against Brunei, we sat back and defended properly in the last 20 minutes."

Yogaraj Panditurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2016, with the headline 'Geylang still wary despite win'. Print Edition | Subscribe