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Hougang United

Hougang United can and must aim for the top this season

11:55 PM IST 11/03/19
Home United vs Hougang United 2016 RHB Singapore Cup
This Hougang squad has the potential to compete with the bigwigs of the Singapore Premier League...

Before the 2019 Singapore Premier League (SPL) commenced, Hougang United was touted as dark horses for the league title due to a slew of inspirational signings they made; Faris Ramli and Zulfahmi Arifin among them.

Indeed the Hougang hierarchy believed that Faris and Zulfahmi were the game changers needed to take the club to greater heights and stop them from finishing bottom of the league. After all Faris and Zulfahmi brought with them valuable playing experience overseas with the former impressing in Malaysia while the latter played in what is often regarded as Southeast Asia's toughest league.

The all-important test for the Cheetahs would come in the form of their season opener against a rejuvenated Tampines Rovers side. Many observers of the league believed that should Hougang pass this test, only then they could be considered as contenders for the league title. What followed was a demoralising defeat for Hougang as they were mauled 5-1 by the Stags and to add insult to injury, even finished with ten men after one of their players got sent off.

Consequently, many wondered if this team had the mental capacity to overcome such a setback and they did as they edged past Balestier Khalsa in their next game by a 1-0 scoreline. It will be hoped that Hougang can build on their winning momentum as Clement Teo's charges know that they can achieve so much more this season with the quality at their disposal.

The Cheetahs tend to finish each of the past seasons at the bottom half of the table, disappointing their ardent fans but this season many believe they can finally shake off their tag of basement dwellers. A top four finish will be expected of them and anything less will be considered a failure. Hougang must put pressure on themselves to rise as this is the only way they can reach the top.