S.League: Modest Kean promises more for DPMM

Albirex Niigata 0 Bruinei DPMM 1

He arrived with a big reputation, as the first former English Premier League manager to coach in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League.

But after getting his spell as Brunei DPMM coach off to a winning start on Saturday night, Steve Kean took pains to push the spotlight onto his team.

"It's not about me," the former Blackburn Rovers boss said after DPMM's 1-0 win over Albirex Niigata at the Jurong East Stadium. "I'm just here to help the players and the club."

And it is clear that the Scot has set high standards for his charges.

While few in the 1,818-strong crowd would have denied that DPMM were the better side of the night, Kean insisted that "there's more to come from us".

"I wasn't particularly pleased with the way we passed the ball," the 46-year-old remarked.

"But it's a good sign - to not play particularly well and still win."

He is also expecting more from star signing Roy O'Donovan, the former Sunderland striker who, apart from a second-half cushioned header that bounced agonisingly wide, had a quiet debut.

"He's only had a few training sessions with us and it's difficult to gel a partnership," Kean said.

"But I'm sure that in the games to come, he'll form a good understanding with Rodrigo Tosi."

Indeed, it was O'Donovan's intelligent link-up play with the Brazilian that resulted in the game's decisive moment in the 15th minute.

A neat one-two on the edge of the Albirex box set Tosi clear, only for goalkeeper Kazuki Kishigami to take him down.

The midfielder brushed himself off before confidently firing in the only goal of the match from the penalty spot.

Albirex's best chances to draw level fell to Kento Nagasaki but he was left frustrated on three occasions by goalkeeper Azman Ilham.

Speaking after the match, the hosts' coach Tatsuyuki Okuyama was clearly unimpressed by his side's efforts.

"I'm not satisfied at all," he said bluntly. "We made many mistakes and have to accept this result."

Kean, on the other hand, had a few kind words for the opposition.

"I thought they played really well," he said. "If that's the standard we're coming up against, it's going to be a tough season."

Prior to kick-off, the hosts inked a memorandum of understanding with Yuhua MP Grace Fu that will see the Japanese outfit donate $1 to Yuhua Community Sports Club for every fan who attends their home matches this term.

The new agreement marks the continuation of an initiative which was introduced last season and successfully raised $19,386.

In another S.League tie played Saturday night, Hougang United and Woodlands Wellington played out a 2-2 draw at the Hougang Stadium.

Igor Cerina and Fazli Jaffar were on target for the hosts, while Taufiq Ghani and Moon Soon Ho responded for the Rams.


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