By Gabriel Tan
With the AFF Suzuki Cup just two months' away, Singapore's preparations for the region's most-illustrious competition suffered another setback as they fell to the Azkals at the Jurong West Stadium, courtesy of goals from Emelio Caligdong and Philip Younghusband.
However, Avramovic refused to get overly critical of his charges and insisted there were positives to be taken out of the game, especially considering it had given him the chance to test a couple of youngsters in Safirul Sulaiman, Nazrul Nazari and Shahfiq Ghani in the second half.
"I'm disappointed we lost but not with the players," he said. "They really tried very hard.
"Philippines kept going for counterattacks and that's how they scored both goals.
"I'm very happy with the effort, especially in the first 45. In the second half, the young boys who came on showed potential and we need to help them develop and improve."
The Serb also lamented on his side's inability to put away a number of good chances they had early on, although he refused to be drawn on whether SAFFC striker Fazrul Nawaz had been in an offside position when he appeared to have cancelled out Caligdong's opener, only to be denied by the linesman's flag.
"We dominated the game in the first 25 minutes," Avramovic added. "We kept possession well and we were creating chances.
"Shi Jiayi had two clear chances; if we had scored the game would have been very different.
"The players also say Fazrul wasn't offside for the goal we scored but I couldn't see from my position."
The 62-year-old also defended vice-captain Hariss Harun, who was deployed as a makeshift centre-back and had an awful game by his usual lofty standards, making mistakes that led to both of Philippines' goals.
Instead, Avramovic takes the blame for leaving the LIONSXII midfielder on longer than he should have, which he believes cost them the second goal after Hariss was beaten in a one-on-one challenge by Younghusband, who proceeded to race into the box and fire past Hyrulnizam Juma'at.
"I have to admit I made a mistake at halftime when Hariss had a problem with his knee," he revealed.
"I didn't want to bring Safuwan [Baharudin] on straight away as I didn't want him to play a full 45 minutes, so I asked Hariss if he could carry on for a bit.
"But a few minutes into the second half, he couldn't cope and Philippines scored their second."
Singapore will be looking to get back to winning ways on Tuesday when they take on Myanmar.