Home head into Al Shorta tie on a high

Despite a long flight and harsh conditions, Home United coach Lee Lim-saeng reveals his players head into Tuesday's AFC Cup tie against Al Shorta high on confidence.

The Home backline celebrating a resilient display.

By Gabriel Tan

The Great Eastern-YEO's S.League giants are currently in Jordan preparing for their one-legged Round of 16 clash against their opponents, which is being played on neutral ground due to political unrest in Syria.

Home missed the chance to secure home advantage for the tie when they lost their final Group E game to eventual winners Chonburi at the start of the month, but while the Protectors initially expressed disappointment at the result, Lee insists they are now raring to make Singapore proud in Tuesday's clash.

"Although our opponents are the 'home' team for the game, we should believe in ourselves that we can beat them," Lee told ESPNSTAR.com.

"We are determined to get a result that will do Singapore and the S.League proud."

On Tuesday, the Protectors will have to do without captain Shi Jiayi, star forward Qiu Li and utitily Sofiyan Abdul Hamid, who will all be missing through suspension.

However, Lee believes last week's 1-0 win over league leaders DPMM FC in the opening round of the RHB Singapore Cup, which they played with four key players suspended, has given them the confidence they can cope without the absentees again.

"We will be without Shi Jiayi, Qiu Li and Sofiyan," Lee added. "In fact, we only have 16 players available for the game.

"However, our guys have gained a lot of confidence from our win over DPMM, which was achieved with four players out suspended [Shi, Franklin Anzite, Frederic Mendy and Shotaro Ihata].

"Everyone had DPMM as favourites for that game, and then we had Masrezwan [Masturi] sent off [at the start of the second half].

"However, we kept reading the game better than our opponents and because of that, we achieved a win that has raised our morale."

Lee did admit the one concern he had for the game was the drastic weather in Jordan, but has backed his side to prevail over the testing conditions.

"It is very hot in the day but in the evening, the temperature drops rapidly," Lee explained. "Yesterday [Sunday], it was 11 degrees [celsius].

"Hopefully it doesn't affect us during the game but even then, we should take it upon ourselves to overcome any obstacles.

"We have had a long trip but we aren't here for vacation. Tomorrow [Tuesday], my players will give 100% and we will do our league proud."

The Protectors will be looking to better their last appearance in the competition back in 2009, where they made the Round of 16 before being eliminated by Hong Kong's South China.



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