Stange: Lions not ready yet

Stange: Lions not ready yet
International Friendly: Singapore vs Laos

There were many who feared the worst when the draw came out last year.

With Jordan, Oman and Syria for company in Group A of the Asian Cup qualifiers, Singapore were clearly up against it.

And so it has proved.

After two games, the Lions have yet to score any points - or goals.

They sit bottom of Group A, behind a Jordan side with a perfect record, Oman (four points), and Syria (one) - their opponents at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Tuesday.

Singapore coach Bernd Stange says it's not going to get any easier.

Speaking to The New Paper ahead of the team's training session on Sunday, he emphasised that progress is still some way away.

"Syria, Oman and Jordan are a level above us, and against these teams, we are underdogs, that is clear, and everybody has to know that," said Stange, before putting the Lions through a 90 minute session at Jalan Besar last night.

"I'm proud of our progress from the Hong Kong match (1-0 loss) to Laos (1-0 win), but the South-east Asia (SEA) Games is the true test - that is where we have to deliver," he added.

"But no one goes to play a match wanting to lose - we want to win (against Syria) - but we will follow our way." The 2013 SEA Games will be held in Myanmar in December and the Singapore team are rated as one of the contenders at the football tournament, which is an Under-23 event.

A number of players in the senior Singapore squad are vying for places in the SEA Games team.

Stange's charges trudged to a 1-0 win over Laos last Thursday as a tune-up for Tuesday's game.

A section of the paltry 1,800 fans who turned up for the friendly clearly were frustrated over the Lions' inability to break down the visitors, but Stange is adamant he will continue to emphasise the up-tempo "pass and move" style.

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