Stange: No pressure

Stange: No pressure
Singapore coach Bernd Stange at a pre-match press conference ahead of his team's Asian Cup qualifier against Syria.

He would hate to admit it, but Singapore coach Bernd Stange does not expect his charges to achieve a result against Syria in the Asian Cup qualifier on Tuesday - and he is not too bothered about it.

Shoulders loose as he walked into the room at the Amara Hotel on Monday, the German was a picture of calm, distinctly different from his Syrian counterpart sitting two seats away.

It was not hard to see why.

"There is a lot of pressure on our team, because we don't want to lose the chance to qualify, and we're playing away and have to handle the (artificial) pitch and the weather here," said Syria head coach Anas Makhlouf, looking tense in his shirt-and-tie ensemble.

Singapore are bottom of Group A with no points and no goals after two games, behind Syria (one point), Oman (four) and leaders Jordan (six).

While Syria are pulling out the stops to get back in contention in the group, Stange seems to have give up all hope of making it to the next stage, content on giving the younger players in the Lions' bullpen a run-out.

"We have very little theoretical chance of qualifying," said Stange. "Everybody knows our strategy, and we will play with many young players - that is our way.

"I don't want to put pressure on young players to get results against men," added the 65-year-old.

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