Johana Johari first outing as Hougang against Balestier saw his men produce a lacklustre performance as the away side dominated proceedings for much of the game.
Only Liam Shotton, one of four
new foreign signings, produced anything of note as he came off the
bench and converted a cross by Canadian Jerome Baker in the 81st minute
to net a late consolation.
However, Johana admitted that the
Cheetahs' foreign imports have largely failed to produce the impact
desired although he insisted that there were positives to take away from
"This competition is all about the foreigners and if
they do not lift us up then we can suffer. We do not have fantastic
local players and we need foreigners to lift us up in the game," he told
reporters after the defeat.
"We have a good squad of twenty players but so far our foreigners are not clicking well.
"Sometimes, foreign players take some time to adapt and we cannot blame them for not playing well.
takes some time for them to show their potential and I can see
improvement, especially with Jerome [Baker] which is a positive thing.
Jerome and Liam can perform as today [Tuesday] alongside [Mamadou]
Diallo and Robert [Eziakor], with Tom [Beattie] back, then we can have
five good foreigners for the next game."
The former Prime League
coach stated that his players struggled to maintain possession in the
midfield and need to improve on that front for their upcoming fixture
against league leaders Tampines Rovers.
"We lost control in the midfield, lost possession and made a lot of careless mistakes," he continued.
gave away a lot of fouls outside the penalty box and they got two goals
at the near post from corners which is uncalled for.
players didn't close down the incoming corners and that cost us. All in
all, it was a matter of concentration and we lacked focus. If only we
realise that the more we hold the ball, the more chances we can have
then we can do better.
"We lost out in height as well and we
have to deal with it. Thank goodness, Tom [Beattie] should be back for
the next game and help provide some height.
"When I put in Liam Shotton, we had that height advantage in attack."
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