Akbar: I would rather lose now

The man in Tampines’ hot seat saw his 100 per cent record come to an end on Thursday evening but he was unperturbed by it… 

Tampines Rovers head coach Akbar Nawas was on an eight-game winning streak since he replaced V.Sundramoorthy but that run ended on Thursday evening.

The loss came in calamitous manner as his goalkeeper Joey Sim contrived to clear the ball into Azim Izamuddin's path at the edge of the box and the latter duly slotted home to give Brunei DPMM a 2-1 victory in the League Cup.

Anyway it’s good to end the record now, to lose now and still qualify for the semi-finals

- Akbar

The defeat meant Tampines finished second in Group A while DPMM took top spot, as both teams qualified for the semi-finals.

While he admitted it was disappointing for his perfect start to end, Akbar shared he was happy the defeat came now rather than later.

“To be fair, everyone has been asking me and telling me about this unbeaten streak but actually I am not counting,” Akbar explained.

Tampines could not claim top spot in Group A

“That’s where I think you will lose focus on the team. if I just banked on it, my own fame, then we would have turned things around and I would have gone for the result, change the game and maybe put a marker on somebody

“Anyway it’s good to end the record now, to lose now and still qualify for the semi-finals rather than we stay unbeaten and go back to the league and have the pressure of not wanting to lose.”

Akbar also gave Sim his vote of confidence, believing that mistakes are part and parcel of the game.

The Tampines head coach went on to praise his entire team, especially the experienced heads, for playing their hearts out.

“Well from the start I told the players the result is for me to take, what I wanted to see is the performance,” Akbar added.

“But what a performance it was from them, I can’t take anything away, the boys played their hearts out.

“We are humans, so who would not be disappointed? I am sure Joey will be disappointed with himself. But the team will still back Joey up, so would I.

“We have to take the positives as well as the negatives, the good and bad, we have to learn from that.”

Photos: S.League