S-League: Warriors' Weaver stays bullish

S-League: Warriors' Weaver stays bullish
Warriors coach Alex Weaver (right, in black), who watched Brunei DPMM beat Albirex Niigata. Brunei DPMM won 1-0 against Albirex Niigata.

Three wins on the trot against their title rivals and sitting top of the pile, Warriors FC were on the crest of a wave.

Second-placed Brunei DPMM FC had a game in hand, but the most successful side in S.League seemed to have momentum on their side.

But Alex Weaver's Warriors were pegged back last night without even kicking a ball, after DPMM's victory over Albirex Niigata in a pivotal clash moved the Brunei club back to the top of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League, level on points but ahead by a mammoth +17 goal difference over Warriors.

In the final round of matches on Friday, DPMM take on outgoing champions Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar Stadium, while the Warriors entertain Albirex at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium and Weaver knows the score.

The Warriors coach was at the Jurong East Stadium to watch DPMM's win last night, and speaking to The New Paper later, Weaver conceded that the title is now out of their hands, but insisted his side still stand a good chance of glory.

"Nothing has changed for us. We still go into the next game wanting to win," he said.

"We have to focus solely on things that we can control, and we've done very, very well when the pressure's been on us.

"We'll be very disappointed if we don't take the title home, but then again you have to look at the teams around us. They've all done very, very well.

"We've given ourselves a very good chance after being focused and playing well over the last few weeks. We went to Brunei and took three points, but now it's out of our control."

DPMM just have to match the Warriors' result on Friday to claim the S.League crown, and Weaver is banking on Tampines to lend a hand.

QUALITY

"I think Tampines can win the game, really. They're a very good team, very experienced and with quality in every department," said the 37-year-old Englishman.

"But it's still in DPMM's hands. They know that if they win, they'll win the league."

To have any chance, the Warriors will have to beat Albirex and they will count on 21-goal forward Nicolas Velez to do the business.

"He's deadly in front of goal and you could see that when he scored four in a 4-0 win over Albirex in April," said Weaver.

"But it's not just that, he brings so much more in terms of his movement and team play.

"He's like Luis Suarez, his mere presence is enough to scare opponents."

haiqals@sph.com


This article was first published on Oct 29, 2014.
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