Friday, July 19, 2013

Tay hail morale boasting win

A day after being slapped with a three-point penalty for fielding an ineligible player in the 1-0 win over Harimau Muda on July 3, the Stags showed no signs of being affected by the setback as they cruised to a 4-1 against the Protectors.

Speaking after the game, Tay admitted that apart from helping restore Tampines' four-point lead at the top of the table, the result also gave his charges a huge psychological boost.

"Importantly, the game changed the morale of the team after the fiasco," he said.

"They showed perserverance and determination and credit should go to the team.

"This win was very crucial as it changes to mood and confidence in the camp. I think the boys did well."

However, all of the Stags' hard work could easily have amounted to nothing after referee Abdul Malik Bashir halted proceedings in the 62nd minute after the Lightning Warning System (LWS) was activated, although the match did resume after a 90-minute wait.

But rather than discuss how his side could easily have seen a routine three points vanish before their eyes, Tay preferred to focus on the positives from the performance.

"We can't predict the weather so there's not much to say about that," the ex-Singapore international added.

"We tried to score early and get an early boost, which is what we did.

"We built up nicely with our set-pieces, which is something we've been practising on. As you can see, it paid off as we scored three goals from freekicks and corners.

"Now, we're playing a 4-3-3 as we want to be more attacking. We're working on pressing our opponents more from the front."

While it was his side's threat from set-pieces that pleased Tay, it was the exact opposite with Home coach Lee Lim-saeng as he struggled to explain how his team struggled to cope with their opponents in those situations.

"What can I say? We conceded three goals from set-pieces," he said.

"We lost the players we were supposed to mark and I hope we can learn after this mistake."

The Protectors were slightly unfortunate on the night as they had a first-half effort from Kwon Dak-yung chalked off for a foul on opposition keeper Andre Martins, while the South Korean also struck the bar with a rasping shot towards the end when Tampines were already leading 4-1.

Nonetheless, Lee refused to entertain any suggestions that his side had been unlucky.

"It's very difficult to say much about our performance," he added. "I just want to take full responsibility for the result.

"I don't want to make any excuses.

"We conceded from set-pieces and hopefully we don't do this again in our next game."

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