The long-serving Singapore coach did not mince his words after the Hong Kong coach had suggested the home side would have an advantage on WednesdayThe war of words have begun ahead of the friendly match between Singapore and Hong Kong this coming Wednesday, August 15 2012 as Lions coach Raddy Avramovic responded to Hong Kong coach Ernie Merrick's remark days earlier.
Avramovic rubbished his opposite number's comments that Singapore will have an added advantage this time round as compared to their previous meeting in June where the Lions lost the game by a solitary goal, mainly because the S.league is currently on-going while the Hong Kong players are in their pre-season mode.
“What is he talking about?" blasted the Serbian.
"He likes to talk too much and we went to Hong Kong without our full first team and with several young players. We go into all our matches with the same mindset, we want to win whether it’s against Hong Kong or any other team.
“I will try to put the best possible player in the starting lineup against Hong Kong on Wednesday. In the previous game, we had used lots of different players during the match but, from now on we must only select the main players for the team and win it.”
With barely three months before the Suzuki Cup, Raddy revealed for the first time that the final squad has already taken its shape and gave himself an added responsibility to ensure that current injured players are able to grab their spot in the national team after they have overcome the pain barrier.
“I have a list of players that I want for the Suzuki Cup but it’s a question of whether they will be available to play when the tournament starts," he added.
"Fifteen players are confirmed to be in my Suzuki Cup squad as they have shown over the past matches.
“It is our duty as coaches to help those that are currently out injured to return to the national team. Be it Khairul Amri, Shahril Ishak, Agu Casmir or Safuwan Baharuddin. We must give the players their chance again after they have recovered.”
With results not going in the Lions' favour in recent matches and having slipped to their lowest ever FIFA ranking, Raddy knows that his side must get back to winning ways and believes that their fortunes will turn for the better come Wednesday.
“I have told the players that we must start look to build up the winning mentality again starting with the Hong Kong game,” added Avramovic.
The friendly match will take place at the Jurong West Stadium and the game will kick off at 8.30pm.
Date: Wednesday, 15th August 2012
Time: 5.00 pm onwards
Venue: Jurong West Stadium
Pricing: S$10 (Adult), *S$2 (Concession - Student/ Senior Citizen)
*Students (Primary, Secondary, ITE, JC Students Only) and Senior Citizens have to produce their concession passes upon entry into the stadium. Concession tickets are also applicable to children aged 7 and below whom require a seat in the stadium.