Stange returns serve after FourFourTwo's Singapore squad suggestions
Last week, FourFourTwo drew up a list of 10 players Stange could consider for Singapore’s upcoming matches – Thursday’s friendly against Myanmar and next week’s clash with Afghanistan in Iran.
Players like Delwinder Singh, Faritz Hameed and Fareez Farhan, who have been doing well for their respective clubs in the S.League and are earning the fans’ praises, are included in the list.
A seemingly harmless piece of editorial content designed to shine a spotlight on players whose form might have warranted a place in the national set-up and generate some discussion, it appears to have bristled the German.
Prior to a chat with assembled media ahead of training on Monday, Stange was keen to discuss the piece with FourFourTwo’s two reporters present.
He stressed he could only call up 23 players and not 33, challenging FFT to name 10 players who should be dropped from his squad, although that wasn’t the motivation behind the article.
He argued these were the 23 players he perceived to be the best in the nation and subsequently told reporters the squad should be able to get the results Singapore want against Myanmar and Afghanistan.
“We are a national team, we want to deliver results. It's no longer a test period, it's a period to deliver results,” Stange stressed.
“We have to prove and show how good we are now in the midst of the season. Players should be fine, should be fit.
“We have a couple of days of preparation and we are very happy to have the warm-up game with Myanmar and we should try to win both matches.
“They are crucial matches because firstly, it's important for us to finish in third and be in the next part of the Asian Cup qualifying rounds, and secondly to improve our world rankings which will give us additional power to get a good group (in the next round).”
However, Stange did somewhat contradict himself when he added he might also field 18-year-old Irfan Fandi this week in order to give him “exposure”.
“We have a team average age of 26, so we will add Irfan Fandi in Tehran to our team,” Stange said.
“He will play the first match in the under-21 and if he performs well we will take him into our squad and we will give him exposure in our national team.”
It’s expected Stange’s time in charge of the Lions will end when his contract expires next month, so it appears a break may well be in his near future.
And whatever the outcome of these matches, fear not readers, FourFourTwo will continue to boldly suggest players that deserve a place in selective squads, based on form!
Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo