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'We showed tremendous fighting spirit' - Balester Khalsa coach Darren Stewart

'We showed tremendous fighting spirit' - Balester Khalsa coach Darren Stewart

Zeng Liwei

The Tigers coach conceded that his side had been lucky to secure the points in an evenly balanced match, but paid tribute to the hard work put in by his charges

After seeing his team grind out a win over the Courts Young Lions in a game which could have gone either way, Balestier coach Darren Stewart admitted that his side had luck on their side.

“It was a useful three points, but it was a pretty ordinary performance [from us," said Stewart.

"We were a bit lucky, the Young Lions were the better team. I think they outplayed us today, and that’s football. Sometimes that happens, and you get a win [instead].”

The Australian also pointed out that a few of his players were playing with injuries, and hailed the effort the team put in to secure this victory.

“The only positive is that we ground out the result with bare bones," he added.

"We were down to the spare parts in the team. We've got people out there with broken bones who are playing for us - I won’t mention who, but there is more than one.

“We didn’t play well but we had the guts and determination. We showed tremendous fighting spirit. I am very happy with the way we fought and ground out a win. I’ll take a gutsy performance any time, rather than a flamboyant one where you get a draw or a loss.”

Stewart also hoped his side would be able to reel in fourth-placed Home United, after this win brought them to within a point of the Protectors in the table, saying: “Yeah we are giving it a shot, and we are trying to chase them.”

His counterpart, Robin Chitrakar, was a disappointed man at the final whistle: “The boys tried their very best. Of course, we are disappointed with the result. I thought we didn’t deserve to lose this match, definitely. We kept possession, built up play and tried to go forward to score goals.”

The ex-Singapore international conceded that defensive lapses caused the downfall of his side in an even affair.

“The difference between us was the two goals they scored. I think both were due to sloppy defending, and poor marking.”

With the Young Lions due to face Gombak United next Tuesday in the week’s only league game, Chitrakar was confident that they would have the legs to cope with it.

“We will rotate [the players]. We have no problems with that, no issues.”