Onn-wards and upwards for Warriors since Jorg sacking

Warriors coach Razif Onn conducting training at Choa Chu Kang Stadium. He replaced Jorg Steinebrunner in May.
Warriors coach Razif Onn conducting training at Choa Chu Kang Stadium. He replaced Jorg Steinebrunner in May.PHOTO: TIFFANY GOH FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

The Warriors lost their coach Jorg Steinebrunner in May. But unlike the shell-shocked Protectors, who lost their coach on Saturday and are their opponents tonight in the S-League, the military men have been rejuvenated by the change.

Razif Onn took over the reins in the same month. And in the five league games he has overseen, the Warriors have suffered only one defeat - a 2-3 away loss to league leaders Albirex Niigata.

Two draws before and two wins after that defeat leave the club seventh in the S-League table on 18 points. But only four points separate them from third-placed Brunei DPMM.

And despite a first-round Singapore Cup exit and bowing out of the League Cup group stage, central defender Madhu Mohana is confident the club are making steady progress in the league under Razif.

"We flopped in the Cup competitions but we're slowly picking up the points in the league. Razif has brought stability to the team and the squad are more confident now," said the Singapore international.

"You can see that all the players are more hungry now and the level of competition for a starting place is high - something that was not around a few months ago.

"Razif has been with the Warriors for the longest time so we all respect him and have adjusted to him well. He brings everyone together and is willing to hand out opportunities to those that deserve it."

Razif is also happy with his side's progress and noted the improvements. He said: "The team are getting closer and closer to meeting my expectations, and that is satisfying.

"I have settled in but I still require time to implement my style properly - three months is too short.

"The Warriors must be more organised and all the players have understood that because I talk to them to gauge their strengths and weaknesses.

"Going up against Home United, they will come out in full force and attack us with every chance that they get. Even with a new coach (Aidil Sharin), they are still dangerous."

Tampines, in second on 34 points, also take on sixth-placed Geylang International (21) today at Jurong West Stadium.

Yogaraj Panditurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2016, with the headline 'Onn-wards and upwards for Warriors since Jorg sacking'. Print Edition | Subscribe