They are the most successful club in the history of the competition, and in the build-up to the 2016 Great Eastern-Yeo’s S.League, Warriors FC were optimistic of a good season ahead.
Two games into their campaign, the Warriors only have a point and have yet to find any spark.
They host the Garena Young Lions tomorrow at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium and most of their fans will expect nothing less than victory over the national developmental side, who are essentially an Under-21 outfit.
But Warriors coach Jorg Steinebrunner has dismissed suggestions that tomorrow’s match will be a stroll in the park.
“There is no must-win and sure-win in football,” Steinebrunner told The New Paper before a training session yesterday.
“Because we lost against (Brunei) DPMM, it doesn’t change anything. For me to listen to people that they expect three points against Young Lions, it shows disrespect towards them.
“They are the younger players of the upcoming possible national team. They have been in the NFA (National Football Academy), so they play a certain level of football, demonstrated in their first game in the league when they got their win (against Balestier Khalsa).”
Although the Warriors lost to the defending champions DPMM 3-1 on Saturday, Steinebrunner felt his side should not have come away from Brunei empty-handed.
“We are disappointed with the loss in Brunei, but not with our performance,” he said.
“If we had taken only half of the chances we created, not by luck, then we would have come away with three points.
“We have a good team, and the last two performances against Home United and DPMM were good enough to get more points than what we got.”
Steinebrunner has warned his charges against complacency when they line up against the Young Lions.
“We need to realise that if you take the Young Lions too lightly, it’s going to be a rude awakening.
“People need to see that they are playing in a professional league and they cannot just say that the Warriors are going to win.
“We have prepared ourselves, just like for any other game.
“The mentality, character and attitude need to be spot-on.
“Otherwise, it will be a difficult game.”
Warriors captain Zulfadli Zainal agreed with his coach’s assessment.
“The Young Lions are supposedly the weaker team, but I don’t think so,” the 27-year-old defender told TNP.
“That’s on paper only.
“Every time you play against the so-called weaker teams, it’s very tricky because the players tend to be complacent.
“I’ve played in the S.League for quite some time, so I know how it feels.”
Nevertheless, Zulfadli said the eight-time champions will “go all out” for the win.
He said: “We will just play as per normal, like how we played against DPMM.
“Hopefully, our players can start scoring.”
This article was first published on March 3, 2016.
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