Raab furious with hectic S.League schedule

Tampines Rovers' head coach Jurgen Raab could not help but feel aggrieved by his side’s hectic schedule after a 2-1 loss to Hanoi FC. 

The German felt that the S.League could have done more to help the Stags manage their rest, particularly in light of their AFC Cup duties.

Tampines took the lead in the 67th minute against the Vietnamese outfit, but conceded twice thereafter as they suffered their third defeat in four games in the continental competition.

Why (Tampines) make mistakes in the last minute is because they are totally tired and I must say why, what is the reason? I am very angry about this

Commending his players for putting up a brave show, Raab felt his side’s late capitulation was a result of the Stags’ tight schedule, playing Hanoi just two days after a game with Warriors FC.

Hanoi last played nearly two weeks ago in their own league.

“If you are tired, then you make more mistakes than when you are fit,” Raab added. “For us, the problem was (that) we had this match on Saturday.

"It was two days between the (game with Warriors), and these players from Vietnam, they have not had this match and that’s a difference.

“Why (Tampines) make mistakes in the last minute, is because they are totally tired, and I must say why, what is the reason? I am very angry about this, with such things. There wasn’t an equal opportunity.”

The defeat means Tampines now only have a slim chance of progressing to the ASEAN zone semi-finals as only the group winners and best runners-up will advance out of the group stage.

Tampines are sitting bottom of Group G with three points, five points behind leaders Hanoi, and will need to win their remaining games and have other results go their way to have any hopes of progression.

The threat of elimination is now a real possibility, but Raab said he would still be approaching the remaining games in the same way.

“I was very impressed (with what I saw from my players in this game), that’s what I want to see in the future,” he said.

“To see such a performance, it’s good for the confidence and also for me that the players are ready to follow and to bring my match plan to the pitch.

“Maybe we must win the next two matches and hope results go our way. But if we can use these two matches, then we are in a good way even if we go out.”

Photo: S.League