Kean: DPMM not thinking about being party poopers

DPMM coach Steve Kean wants to focus solely on his club and not waste time thinking about being party poopers.
DPMM coach Steve Kean wants to focus solely on his club and not waste time thinking about being party poopers.PHOTO: ST FILE

Reigning S-League champions Brunei DPMM may not be in the running for the title this season but they could still have a big say in where the league crown ends up.

They stunned league leaders Albirex Niigata 2-1 three weeks ago and could do the same to second-placed Tampines Rovers when they meet in a month's time.

The Stags, on 40 points, trail the table-topping White Swans by four points. DPMM are third on 29 points in the nine-team league with five games left. But when they meet fourth-placed Hougang United (28 points) at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight, DPMM coach Steve Kean wants to focus solely on his club and not waste time thinking about being party poopers.

He said: "We're just concentrating on ourselves and want to finish the season strong. It was fantastic to beat Albirex. Against Tampines in a few weeks, we want to make our mark and shine.

"But this isn't about us spoiling a team's chance for the title or us being sour grapes. Our aim now is to remain unbeaten and maybe fight hard enough for that second spot."

DPMM are currently on a five-match unbeaten run (three wins, two draws) - the longest they have gone without losing. The Bruneian side started their campaign in rough fashion, picking up only five wins from 12 matches.

Scotsman Kean, 48, said: "The way we began the season was tough because we didn't have time to properly arrange pre-season friendlies to prepare the boys.

"We've had to deal with new players coming in (Brian McLean), losing a few like Boris (Raspudic). There were also injuries to Brian and Rosmin (Kamis) plus, we were missing our striker (Paulo) Sergio here and there.

"DPMM are a much more settled side now and we want to maintain our good performances over the past few games. Hougang will be a tough test for us because they're in form as well and they're hungry for that third spot."

In yesterday's fixture, Geylang beat Balestier Khalsa 2-1. Warriors FC, in seventh spot, will take on bottom-side Garena Young Lions today at Choa Chu Kang Stadium.

Yogaraj Panditurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2016, with the headline 'Kean: DPMM not thinking about being party poopers'. Print Edition | Subscribe