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Patrick Vallee: My confidence in the players was rewarded

Patrick Vallee: My confidence in the players was rewarded

Muhammad Farhan

The Tanjong Pagar United coach was pleased with how his side bounced back from two successive losses in their win over Warriors FC, whose coach V. Selvaraj was disappointed

It may have been a rather scrappy affair, punctuated at times with some good football, allied to committed defending by both sides, but Tanjong Pagar United coach Patrick Vallee was more than pleased to secure the three points on Saturday night, after suffering two defeats he felt his team did not really deserve.

They needed to bounce back and they did with a fighting effort in their 2-1 win against Warriors FC after the physical encounter against Balestier Khalsa at Toa Payoh, and the less-than-satisfying loss in Pasir Gudang to Harimau Muda as recently as last Tuesday night.

“I am very happy with the way my team played and after the last two matches, when I felt I was entitled to be angry with certain things - not with my players, I should add - I am pleased that my confidence in them was rewarded tonight,” Vallee declared.

“All of the players did well, including the foreign players, but I was especially pleased to see both goals coming from two of my local players.

“I told them in training that I wanted to see the local players score more of the goals [than they have so far] and they must have been paying attention!

“Both teams played [good] football tonight, which I was pleased to see and the way we fought back from being a goal down was very good.”

While Vallee was pleased with his players’ contributions, his opposite number V. Selvaraj, made it clear post-match that the contributions from some of his own players fell well short of the mark.

“Did we deserve more from the game than we got?” he asked, and did not mince his subsequent words.

“We deserved more from some of the players, especially some of the senior ones. Individually, a few players were well below par tonight.

“The team were poorly-organised in the way we conceded the goals, there were some obvious misunderstanding among the players in how to deal with the threat posed by the speed of Hafiz Nor and finding the best way to contain him.

Selvaraj did find some solace in the return of Kazuyuki Toda, who played for the first time in around three months in his comeback from injury.

“He seemed to come through the game without any injury, which is a relief,” he said.

“He had a steady game and we hope to see more from him in the weeks to come.

“I am sure we can overcome this latest setback if we work hard together in training.

“I feel the team needs me to be strong for them and we need to get through the problems we’ve been facing together so we will work even harder now to overcome our present situation.

“We are still within reach of the top half of the table and I have put aside any thoughts of quitting if we are not third in the table by June as I believe it would serve no purpose now, as I need to be there to help the players to get things right.

Selvaraj was clearly disappointed, but said he was looking forward to the next match when his side can make some more progress after this small setback.

“We’ve got Woodlands Wellington next and it’s at Choa Chu Kang Stadium,” he observed.

“I feel sure that if we work hard before then, we can win that and put this loss this evening behind us.”