Despite finishing the season undefeated at home, LionsXII coach Fandi Ahmad lamented the fact that his side only improved on last season's eight-placed finish by one spot.
The LionsXII ended their 2015 Malaysia Super League campaign in emphatic fashion by thrashing already-relegated Sime Darby 3-0 at Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday night.
That meant they finished undefeated at home but eventually missed out on their target of a top-four finish.
The Singaporeans wrapped up the season up in seventh in the 12-team league table with 33 points from 22 games – improving by just one spot after a 2014 season where they picked up 28 points from the same amount of games.
“I’m bit disappointed because we should’ve been there between the third to sixth positions,” head coach Fandi admitted at the post-match press conference. “Our away form cost us a lot and that’s football.
“Last season we won four times away from home, but this season we only won once. We were chasing and chasing but things happened along the way.”
Putting that disappointment aside, Fandi was pleased with the level of performances which his side put up over the course of the season.
“Credit still has to be given to these boys,” he insisted. “Generally they improved and matured a lot; there is a lot of positive signs and we’re now more comfortable with the way we play.
“Also special mention to the fans who’ve been there and didn’t give up on us despite the ups and downs.”
The 53-year-old was pleased with how the goals was spread amongst the team, with 14 different players getting on the scoresheet.
“Another good thing is that I see a lot players can score, because we don’t have a top striker,” he mused. “Madhu got three, Hafiz got five, Amri got nine and Faris got 10 in all competitions, so everyone is sharing the burden of scoring.”
With the league campaign done and settled, Fandi is now setting sights on the upcoming Malaysia Cup.
“The Malaysia Cup will be a different ball game,” he warned. “I just hope the draw will favour us because we’re not seeded.
“Now we have to focus to recover because the boys are very tired after seven games in 21 days.”