Singapore aim to find balance against Jordan
Singapore coach Bernd Stange has promised an attacking style of play against Jordan ahead of Tuesday's 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifier, but admitted that defence figures highly in his priorities as well.
At the pre-match press conference at the Amara Hotel on Monday afternoon, the German acknowledged that he would pick a team that is "strong in defence" to face the Jordanians, who spanked the Lions 4-0 in the first Group A game.
Singapore are bottom and defeat will almost certainly end their qualification hopes, while second-placed Jrodan will seal qualification with a win.
"The key factor will be defending, of course; we need a strong defense to avoid (deal with) the strong right side of Jordan," he stated.
"We must look out for the strengths of Jordan. It’s an attacking, goal-scoring team with a tall striker. They destroyed us in Amman. They are very strong over the wings."
But the 65-year-old is well aware that his team have to entertain the home fans, having preached an offensive style of football since taking over in May last year.
"We have supporters, we have to show our face, and our face of the future is attacking football," he asserted.
"It doesn’t make sense to take (drop) all 10 players back and lose 1-0 or 2-0. I don’t know how we will perform tomorrow. How can I know that after such a long break and two days of preparation?
"But the spirit is good and the boys know how to play... that’s why I will give my team an attacking face, even if it is Jordan. That is our way and we will not change our way."
Stange expressed frustration that the team could only start training on Sunday, but hopes the Lions can take heart from their 2-1 upset win over Syria in October last year.
"It was a great performance [against Syria] with great attitude, passion and commitment and I think we can deliver something [against Jordan]... I hope we can do better tomorrow," he said.
"It’s the shortest preparation I've ever had with a national team for a qualification match. We will play with the base of the LionsXII team and we will add our overseas players Shahril [Ishak], Baihakki [Khaizan] and Hariss [Harun]."
Captain Shahril echoed his coach's thoughts and vowed that the team would give their all in a "tough" game.
"We have a young team in the national team and of course we want to start to believe and be confident on the field," he said. "The boys will give their 110 per cent for tomorrow’s game."
For Jordan coach Hossam Hassan, the aim is simple: seal progress to the finals in Australia.
"We are looking for a win [because we] don’t want to wait until the final game against Syria," he declared.
"Winning here in Singapore makes us feel comfortable and will give us the chance to go to the finals - that’s why we are here."
Describing Singapore as an "organised" side who "work hard", Hossam is nevertheless confident his side can triumph despite playing their second qualifier in four days, having drawn 0-0 with Oman last Friday.
"I am a litte worried [about fatigue], but the players work so hard and I am sure they can adapt," he said.
"They are a group of good players, I trust all of them. Winning is about work, not confidence. I am looking forward to [making the] Asian Cup for the third time. It’s an important stage for Jordan football.
"We deserve to go to the finals."
The game between Singapore and Jordan will kick off at 7.30p.m. on Tuesday at Jalan Besar Stadium.