Monday, April 1, 2013

Proud in defeat

Home United Paul Lee refused to get overly disappointed by the 1-0m defeat against Tampines Rovers and believes Home had been the better side, even when they were down to ten men.

"I'm actually very happy with the performance!" he said to open his post-match press conference.

"My players did their best and I cannot blame them. The final result is my fault.

"Even when we were playing with ten men, I thought we were the better side. I don't think anyone who watched the game would disagree."

The ex-Korea Republic international, who played at the 1998 FIFA World Cup, also refused to blame either Firdaus or referee Abdul Malik Bashir for the former's sending-off.

"As always in football, many things can happen on the pitch," Lee added.

"But as a coach, I should respect the referee's decision."

A recurring theme in Lee's post-match press conferences last season was his constant referring to his 'homework', the term he used to refer to areas his side needed to work on in training.

Throughout 2012, the main problem stemmed from Home's defensive inadequacies but despite their shaky start to the current campaign, the fact he had not mentioned his 'homework' at all was a clear sign that there have been many positives so far.

Nonetheless, it emerged again on Friday as Lee admitted he needs to find a way to get the best out of new striker Masato Fukui, who has struggled to impress since moving from Japan.

"He [Fukui] played as a striker in the first three games but couldn't score," he explained. "I think his confidence went down as a result but I try to give him encouragement.

"He has soft emotions but he has to be strong on the pitch. This is my homework - to improve his level of performance.

"He may be a foreign player but I think he has to show more respect to the opposition defenders. Also, he didn't play the last two games [through suspension] and maybe he needed to get used to the pace of the game again."

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