Stange promises to rectify 'mistakes' after extension

 The German has pledged his commitment to lead the Lions a month after the AFF Suzuki Cup debacle, while the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) confirms it is seeking a new technical director. 

In a statement released on Monday, the FAS announced Singapore National Team coach Stange had been handed a contract extension to allow him to oversee the 2015 SEA Games.

The Lions' boss had endured the bulk of blame following their AFF Suzuki Cup group stage exit in November, with supporters declaring him the scapegoat after the team's late collapse in the 3-1 Group B home defeat to Malaysia.

But it appears Stange will stay on to assist the preparations of Aide Iskandar's Under-23 side, with the FAS stating: "The performances of our National Team coaching staff, including coach Bernd Stange, will be assessed following the 2015 SEA Games, which remain a priority for us."

"I will learn from, and rectify, the mistakes we had made and aim to make our team stronger and better. I am fully focused on the next assignment," Stange said.

"I will adopt key suggestions as we prepare for three key assignments in the next six months: the national team's FIFA World Cup qualifiers, the Under-23 team's SEA Games competition and the Under-22's participation in the AFC U-22 qualifiers.

"I have taken the feedback from the management and the team seriously, and would like to thank the FAS, the fans and the media for their support towards me and the team."

The 66-year-old's bid to enhance the quality of local football through the ranks will soon be assisted by the appointment of a technical director, with the FAS confirming five candidates out of 60 applicants from the top 20 countries in the world football ranking have been shortlisted.

"We spent the past few months looking for the best available person who will be a good fit," president Zainudin Nordin revealed.

"I am very pleased with the calibre and quality of the candidates who have applied for the position.

"We have met with the shortlisted candidates who have shown us their plans for Singapore youth development that are aligned with our goals of producing competitive and winning teams. We hope to announce the appointment before March.”

Besides the upcoming SEA Games, Singapore will also be contesting the FIFA Asian World Cup qualifiers and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Under-22 qualifiers this year.

Photo: Football Association of Singapore