Analysis

Singapore will have problems against Indonesia and Philippines – Weiss

After seeing his team Mongolia lose 2-0 to Singapore, head coach Michael Weiss felt that the Lions have much to do if they are to make a splash at the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup. 

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The Mongolians clocked a disciplined shift and held the Lions to a goalless first half before goals from Hariss Harun and Gabriel Quak sealed the win for Singapore.

This game is the final home match for the Lions before their away fixture against Cambodia next week, as Fandi and his team continue to put the finishing touches to their game plan for the AFF showdown in November where they are grouped with Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines and Timor-Leste.

Having said in the pre-match news conference that Singapore have an outside chance of doing well at the Suzuki Cup, Former Philippines coach Weiss felt that the Lions were not the finished article against his inexperienced team.

“I want to look at my own team and not comment too much on the opponents but I would expect a bit more combination play, I would expect a lot more creativity but I didn’t see too much,” Weiss said after the game.

“The goals were gifts from our side and it could have been 0-0 also if we didn’t give those goals away. They played a Mongolian team who came here without much preparations so it is not something you should be too fussy about but there is a lot of work ahead and a big space for improvement.

“He (Fandi) gave chance to five new players and it takes time to mix it together. There are young players who got chances so it is a work in progress for Singapore to make that transition and play at this level but technically there is big space in my opinion.”

While he insisted that the Lions are still title contenders for the Suzuki Cup, the former Azkals coach warned that vast improvements need to be made before the Lions’ opening game against Indonesia on November 9.

“They (Singapore) are a physical side, very physically strong like wrestlers, very fit. But that doesn’t help you on a higher level. The pace they will see from Indonesia and Philippines (at the Suzuki Cup) will be different and they will have problems,” he added.

“They are vulnerable in the buildup play and if we had the power today (in this game), I would have sent five or six players to press them early but my team can’t do that.

“I think the coach (Fandi) also realizes this. We saw that (same problems) in the games before, even in the Fiji game when you (Singapore) tried and pass from behind and build up.

“We (Mongolia) don’t have that quality. It is a beautiful tactical game to play but I’m not a tiki taka coach. You must play the way your team can do. The coach knows best and has chances to rectify (their problems) with a camp in Japan and the match in Cambodia.”

Singapore will now take the opportunity to finalise their roster with the game against Cambodia before their training camp in Osaka, Japan later this month.

Fandi will announce the final Singapore 23-man squad when they return from Japan, ahead of the Group B opener against Indonesia at the National Stadium on November 9.