O’Donovan all set for ‘biggest game of season’
Season 2014 has been a spectacular one to date for Brunei DPMM – currently top of the S.League table, in the semi-finals of the RHB Singapore Cup and the final of the StarHub League Cup.
Much of the success has to be attributed to the striking form of their two foreign forwards – Rodrigo Tosi and Roy O’Donovan. This deadly duo has already combined for a staggering 44 goals this season.
Unfortunately, the former has been ruled out of Friday evening's League Cup final due to suspension.
Despite missing his partner-in-crime for this big occasion, O’Donovan remained confident of their chances against Tanjong Pagar United.
“Obviously it’s not ideal,” he told FourFourTwo at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Thursday evening after his side’s final pre-match training session.
“We didn’t think Rodrigo was going to get a second yellow card in the semi-final, but unfortunately he got one so we have to manage accordingly.
“Obviously it’s better when I play together with him, but as you said, I’ve scored a lot of goals myself this year.
“Also, Adi Said has come in for the last couple of games and done excellent.
“We’ve got a very young and ready protégé to step into his (Tosi’s) place, and hopefully he’s going to be the match winner.”
It has been a positive experience for O’Donovan at DPMM since his move from English League Two side Northampton Town at the start of the year.
He attributed much of that happiness to ‘the feel-good factor’ around the club.
“So far it’s been an excellent year for Brunei DPMM,” he said.
“We’ve a very good team, good import players and a good coach. In general, our import players have done excellent to mix in with the local players this year. We’ve got some good young talent and the coach has moulded us into an excellent team.
“The feel-good factor of winning games has brought us to this Cup final.”
Under former Blackburn Rovers manager Steve Kean, DPMM has benefited from modern coaching methods as they have evolved into one of the fittest sides in the league.
O’Donovan, in particular, has enjoyed working under the Scotsman.
“I think he’s an excellent coach,” he said.
“Obviously, he went through a difficult spell at Blackburn. I don’t think any coach or player deserves that kind of derision.
“His results in this league so far have showed that. I think it’s important not to think just because someone has gone through bad times or have been booed, he’s a bad coach. He’s a good guy and he deserve all the success he can get.”
Despite many tipping DPMM to be clear favourites to win this final, O’Donovan is careful not to underestimate Tanjong Pagar.
“This is our biggest game of the season,” he remarked.
“What’s important is that we’re going to forget all the other games we played. This could one of the most difficult games for us this year.
“Tanjong Pagar are playing some really good stuff at the moment and they knocked out some excellent teams along the way, so it’s definitely not easy. But like I said, I’m confident that we have good enough players in our dressing room to get a result.”