S.League: Fight through the fatigue

S.League: Fight through the fatigue
Stags coach Salim Moin (in blue) tells his players they need to be mentally equipped to not let fatigue affect their game.

SINGAPORE - They have been averaging one match every three days, and it won't let up any time soon.

But, even with a schedule packed with AFC Cup ties and Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League games, defending champions Tampines Rovers still have enough in them to eke out the wins domestically.

But Stags coach Salim Moin wants his players to fight through the fatigue and win with style.

He said: "All this travelling has been very tiring for my players.

"But I tell them that they need to be mentally equipped to not let the tiredness affect their game and play well."

Tonight, they will face a Geylang International side desperate for a win.

The Eagles have lost their two opening games - 2-1 against Warriors FC and 4-1 against Home United.

Even then, Salim is particularly cautious of a Geylang side that can surprise.

"We can't take them for granted," he said. "Teams like Geylang will want to perform when facing the champions.

"They know that if they can beat us, they will get their confidence back and will start to win more games."

Tampines skipper Mustafic Fahrudin also agrees that, while he and his teammates are stretched by the demanding schedule, they cannot afford to slip up.

He said: "I've told them that they need to forget about being tired.

"They need to give maximum effort on the pitch and fight for the win. We have to give it all we've got."

Threat

Tampines' biggest threat is arguably Brunei DPMM, who have won all their three games - the latest being Friday night's 3-0 thumping of Home United at Jalan Besar Stadium.

But Salim doesn't think that the Brunei outfit are the only ones who are capable of giving them a run for their money.

"I think this season will be the toughest because we've got more matches to play and little precious time to recover and train.

"So it's not just DPMM that we should look out for, but every team in the league - including Geylang."

Tampines' form in the AFC Cup has not been encouraging.

They lost 5-0 to Hong Kong's Kitchee, as well as 3-1 against Myanmar's Nay Pyi Taw last Wednesday.

Domestically, Tampines have won both of their opening S.League matches.

They beat Home United 1-0 in the Charity Shield, before grinding out a 3-2 win against Courts Young Lions.

Said Salim: "Whenever we're back home, the players appreciate the familiarity.

"When we're travelling, we don't know what to expect.

"We'll take every advantage whenever we play at home, and we have the fans to help us get through."


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