Warriors FC’s new head coach Jorg Steinebrunner believes that a club of its stature has to ensure it is challenging for all three domestic titles.
The 44-year-old German took control of the Warriors’ first-team after Karim Bencherifa left on mutual consent at the start of the year.
Last season was a forgettable one for the nine-time S.League champions, who finished fifth in their title defence, a distant 15 points behind Brunei DPMM.
In addition, they were knocked out of the AFC Cup group stages without picking up a single win – the poorest showing by any Singapore club in the competition’s history.
The Warriors won’t be back in Asian competition this year, leaving them free to focus on the domestic front, and Steinebrunner knows there must be improvement shown.
“I think if you go to a club like the Warriors, we expect to fight for the title. It would be wrong if me or the players say something differently,” Steinebrunner told FourFourTwo.
“We want to fight for the title, that’s in the blood for Warriors. I will never say we are going to win or be expected to win the titles, but we want to challenge and that’s what we want, because anything else is wrong, isn’t it?
“We want to fight with others for the title, for the League Cup, for the Singapore Cup. Like I said, it’s the Warriors, it’s the team that has won the most titles.”
We want to fight with others for the title, for the League Cup, for the Singapore Cup. We're the Warriors, the team that has won the most titles.
To achieve his aims, Steinebrunner has recruited extensively in the off-season.
Yazid Yasin, Hafiz Osman, Hafiz Nor and Kento Fukuda have joined from the Geylang International squad Steinebrunner led last year, while he has also signed S.League stars such as Shaiful Esah, Zulfadli Zainal and Poh Yi Feng.
Capping their recruiting drive was the acquisition of Singapore’s first-choice centre-back, Madhu Mohana.
With a squad that, on paper, has at least two options in almost every position, Steinebrunner expressed his satisfaction with the players he has at his disposal. He will be aiming to play a possession-based style of football.
“I’m very happy with the squad because we got roughly all the players we wanted,” Steinebrunner said.
“You can see what kind of football we are going to play with the players we brought in. We look at the style we want to play; we want to occupy our positions.
“People will be excited to see Shaiful Esah in centre midfield, we have purposely done it because of the system and how we want to play football.
“I think we have a very competitive squad … we have current and ex-national players, players who have played in the AFC Cup and AFF (Suzuki) Cup.
“There’s good competition in the team itself. That’s why I think I will never talk about my first 11, because everyone is capable and expected to play a big role here.”
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