A final Singapore Premier League (SPL) test awaits the Lion City Sailors as they take on the Young Lions at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday (21 October) evening.
This comes after a hard-fought 3-1 away victory over Tanjong Pagar United in their penultimate game, where Gabriel Quak came off the bench to net a match-winning brace.
Looking ahead to their clash against the developmental outfit, Sailors interim Head Coach Luka Lalić has called for his charges to be ruthless in front of goal while keeping things tight at the back.
“I hope to see us put away the chances that come our way and finally end the game with a clean sheet to boot.
“Against Tanjong Pagar (on 14 Oct), we did not exactly do that and missed a host of chances but I’m optimistic we will improve in this aspect,” reflected the 35-year-old, whose side’s last clean sheet came in a 7-0 win over Tanjong Pagar on 20 August.
“Some of the things we tried in that game were also not up to my expectations and we will be looking to try new variations this time around.”
Luka also acknowledged that Nazri Nasir’s side will be no pushovers and have the ability to hurt anyone on their day.
“This is a different Young Lions team from the ones we played previously,” he noted.
“From their last game against Hougang, it’s clear they have some good players and we shouldn’t be taking this game lightly at all.”
Regardless of the result, the Sailors – who have 54 points from 27 games – will finish as runners-up behind newly-minted champions Albirex Niigata (S).
In spite of that, midfielder Adam Swandi believes there is still plenty to play for, with the Sailors looking to make amends in their Singapore Cup debut after being dethroned as SPL champions.
Luka’s men play host to Balestier Khalsa in their Group A opener on Thursday (27 October).
“We are all professional players who go into each game wanting to win them,” the Singapore international asserted.
“While the result will not change anything in terms of league positions, a victory would boost our morale and we want to win this game with style.”
Three points here will go a long way in repaying the faith of the club’s supporters, Adam added.
“Our fans have stuck with us through thick and thin and they are the best 12th man one can ever ask for,” the 2018 SPL Young Player of the Year said.
“Although we didn’t manage to retain the SPL this season, we hope to give them something to cheer about with a result (against Young Lions) and go into the Singapore Cup with a positive mindset.”