SINGAPORE - For the third season running, Tampines Rovers will endure a mid-season change in their coaching department.
Salim Moin has resigned and will leave the defending Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League champions after a torrid April that saw the Stags win just twice in seven outings, surrender their lead at the top of the league, and perhaps most crucially - watch their AFC Cup dreams go up in smoke.
"Salim has resigned - he wasn't sacked - but I will honour his contract and pay him till the end of the year," club chairman Teo Hock Seng told The New Paper.
"He didn't do well. He knows the demands of the club, and I warned him that we're not an easy club to handle because the players have been complacent, and expectations are high."
General manager Tay Peng Kee was called upon each time Tampines' head coach left the club the last two years - Steven Tan in 2012 and Nenad Bacina last year - but Teo has yet to decide on who will replace Salim.
"I have to decide who will take over, and where we go from here. But now is not the time to go and pluck a coach from somewhere, drop him here and expect him to get things right," said Teo, who revealed that he will be meeting with the team this afternoon.
Salim joined from Woodlands Wellington after leading the perennial strugglers to a top-half finish last year, with Clement Teo (team manager) and Matthew Tay (goalkeeper coach) following him out of the Woodlands Stadium. It remains to be seen if the duo will leave with Salim.
While Teo has criticised the football dished out by his team, saying too many goals have been conceded and too few scored, he believes that the players must also shoulder blame.
"Salim is not to be blamed fully. This team are difficult to handle: on paper we are OK, but on the field we are not," said Teo.
"In most clubs, the foreign players are doing well and the local players not so, but here it's the opposite - my foreign players are worse than the local boys - and that hasn't been good for Salim.
"The players need to look at themselves."