Aide: We are quietly confident

The Singapore Under-23 coach is pleased with his team’s progress so far and believes it’s only a matter of time before his charges click
Singapore’s narrow 1-0 win over Cambodia on Sunday evening at the Hougang stadium might not have left many impressed with the nature of victory, but coach Aide Iskandar feels otherwise.

The match was decided by a second half goal from Shahfiq Ghani after the Lions failed to break down the Cambodian defense for majority of the match.

Nevertheless, the Under-23 gaffer was pleased with the efforts of his team despite the indifferent performance.

“A win is definitely good for this team,” Aide said.

“They (the team) have been working hard and I’m quite pleased with how we played. We just need to convert our chances. But im not too worried because I think we have another game where we can fine tune.

“This is the second game playing together after we came back from Tehran. We are working hard towards our last game before we fly off to Myanmar.”

Despite the positive result, Aide was well aware that the team struggled at times, especially in the final third of the pitch. But he is confident the team is slowly gelling together and their efforts will bear fruit by the time the SEA Games come in less than two weeks time.

“[The team was lacking] in the final third as you guys can see,” the former Singapore captain pointed out.

“But it was pleasing to see we created the chances. It’s never easy playing a team like Cambodia who most of the time sit back and stay compact. But I told the boys we’re going to face teams like these in the competition because Laos are going to play the same style.
“Quietly, we are confident. We know we have the quality in the team. It’s just about making the team click. It’s just a matter of time.

“Sometimes it’s good not to click too early, peak too early. We are showing improvement game by game.”

Likewise, Cambodia coach Lee Tae Hoon was impressed with the Singapore team, despite admitting that the Lions had to be in better physical shape to compete with the other teams during the SEA games.

“The Singapore team is better than Cambodia,” he said.

“I think they have very good balance. Their control, passing and movement is very good.

“But there is one problem I want to point out – in the second half, their physical fitness dropped. Because other countries in the SEA Games like Malaysia, Indonesia and Myanmar are physically very strong.

“Still, it was a very good experience for our team, and now we will go back to Phnom Penh to condition the team before heading to Myanmar.”