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The Warriors striker is confident his side will be able to put their league woes behind them as they seek a winning start in their AFC Cup opener in West Sumatra

By Khalis Rifhan

Born in Imotski, Croatia, Mislav Karoglan represented the Bosnia and Herzegovina Under-21 team in 2002 before arriving in Singapore two years ago thanks to Warriors FC legend Mirko Grabovac.

His subsequent performance and goal-scoring exploits - 33 goals - for the Warriors in the S.League earned him the Player of the Year award in his debut season, in addition to the Golden Boot.

With the league changing its format to a more conventional two-round schedule in 2012 from three rounds the year before, Karoglan could only find the back of the net 14 times, a still-impressive tally.

Despite the club recording its worse-ever league finish in the league in sixth spot, the Warriors managed to qualify for the AFC Cup after winning the Singapore Cup in a dramatic final against league champions Tampines Rovers at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

With recovery on the cards for Karoglan after having sustained an injury during pre-season, the striker returned to action in the final stages of their previous league match – a 6-1 loss to Tanjong Pagar at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium. 

Speaking to Singapore from Indonesia, where the Warriors team are currently preparing for their AFC Cup opener against Semen Padang, Karoglan is determined to put that defeat behind him and is hopeful they can snatch a result at the Haji Agus Salim Stadium.

“I am in training for a week now and hopefully I can help the team in the match," he said.

"We will try to defend better and look for goal-scoring opportunities on the counter[attack].

“The pitch is very bad and hard, so it won’t be easy to play on it. But we need to score and get something away from Padang and I am confident we will be able to put on a good and solid performance.”

The match will kick off at 4.30p.m Singapore time, with the Warriors due to host Kitchee next at the Jalan Besar Stadium on March 12.