Stange: Plenty of positives from Austria trip

National Team coach Bernd Stange has expressed his delight after achieving objectives he set out for their training tour to Austria.

There was not much to cheer about in terms of results – the Singapore drew 2-2 with Czech side FC Brno before suffering defeats to top Russian sides Torpedo Moscow and Dynamo Moscow, while their Under-23s counterparts suffered heavy defeats to Czech side FK Pribram and the Borussia Dortmund Under-23s before ending the tour with a 5-0 thrashing of German amateur side TSV Freilassing.

However the 66-year-old remained pleased with how things went for both setups during their three-week training tour in Salzburg, Austria.

“We’ve achieved what we expected,” he said.

“Before we went over, I’ve said that the National Team’s opponents are extremely strong and we’ll come back without a win; it has happened.

“But we took great benefits (from this tour) because it was very professional.

“There’s no difference between our preparations with clubs like Zenit St Petersburg and Bayer Leverkusen; we had the same facilities and ate the same food.

“All the players played and they had their chances to show what they can do at this stage.”

With the 41 players having to undergo two training sessions daily whilst fasting and also under conditions which they are not acclimatized to, Stange was pleased to see them coping well with the rigours as their performances even earned praise from notable European coaches.

“We’ve got many positive things from former Bundesliga coaches like (former Borussia Monchengladbach coach) Hans Meyer and also some Russian coaches,” he shared.

“They watched our matches and they’re all very delighted with our technical performances.

“In nearly all our matches, we’re able to play on the level with our opponents for at least the first half. The match statistics which we’ve gotten from Instat shows that we’re moving in the right direction.

“We’ve stabilized our style of football; now our national and youth teams are on a good way to show a face of their own.

“It’s an great experience for players like Gabriel (Quak), Al-Qaasimy and Iqbal (Hussain) to play against players like (Yuri) Zhirkov and Douglas; they will definitely grow.”

Meanwhile, problems persist in terms of competing against the physical power of bigger opponents and that is an area Stange hopes to address.

“The negative aspect is that we still have big physical problems against these European teams,” he analyzed.

“If they start to increase their speed and pressurize us, we could not play against that. Not one team in Southeast Asia can show us the kind of pressure that we face here against top-class players. Finally there’s a lot of work to be done.”

The Singapore National Team will next take on Cambodia in an international friendly in early August (date to be finalized) before linking up for the much-awaited Singapore Selection vs Juventus game.

Image: Football Association of Singapore