Fandi Ahmad lauds Taufiq Muqminin but demands Young Lions to move on

Kelvin Leong Kelvin Leong

Fandi Ahmad wants his Young Lions charges to forget the Hougang victory and focus on their next Singapore Premier League game against Warriors FC.

Despite proving doubters wrong by sealing a 2-0 win over Hougang United in their opening game of the 2018 Singapore Premier League (SPL), Head Coach Fandi Ahmad is having none of it as he reiterated his developmental ideals.

It took the Young Lions 18 matches – 15 losses and 3 draws – to get their first taste of victory in the previous S.League campaign against Warriors FC in October 2017 but just one game into the new Singapore Premier League season and they have already claimed maximum points.

Goals from Taufiq Muqminin and Joshua Pereira gave Fandi a sweet victory in his first stint back in the Singapore Premier League as Head Coach of the Football Association of Singapore’s U-23 developmental squad.

HIGHLIGHTS: SPL – Young Lions 2-0 Hougang United

Taufiq Muqminin was the star of the show for Young Lions as they sealed a stunning 2-0 win over Hougang United Football Club (HGFC) in the Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League.

Posted by FOX SPORTS Asia on Wednesday, 4 April 2018

 

The former Johor Darul Ta’zim and LionsXII tactician refused to delve into his team’s performance and has demanded that the team keep their focus on the big picture instead.

“It was good to start off the season with a bang, which takes a bit of pressure off the boys,” Fandi said in the post-match news conference.

“It was also important for us to get the first win which was our main objective in the dressing room.

“We were tactically disciplined today and the players fought very hard for one another. There’s still a long way to go for us but hopefully we can get better from here.”

The result underlined the determination of some members in the Young Lions setup who seemed to be enjoying the tactical adjustments made by Fandi and his two assistant coaches Nazri Nasir and S. Subramani.

Joshua Pereira was bossing the midfield while the defensive partnership of Taufiq and Irfan Fandi showed maturity beyond their years. There were also glimpses of attacking ingenuity from Naqiuddin Ahmad, Zulqarnaen Suzliman and Ikhsan Fandi.

HIGHLIGHTS: SPL – Geylang International 1-1 Warriors FC

All square at the Bedok Stadium as Geylang International FC opened their Great Eastern-Hyundai Singapore Premier League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Warriors Football Club.

Posted by FOX SPORTS Asia on Wednesday, 4 April 2018

 

While everyone contributed to the win, Fandi heaped special praise on Taufiq – he had one goal and an assist – who is making up for lost time having been in and out of the developmental side over the past two campaigns.

Fandi added: “I’ve always had belief in him (Taufiq) and I’m happy for him. Despite not playing regularly in the last one and a half years, he managed to control the defence very well and it was a classy goal from him especially for a centre-back to run the length of the pitch to score that.”

The Young Lions will travel to Choa Chu Kang Stadium on April 8 to take on Mirko Grabovac’s Warriors FC. The western outfit were held to a 1-1 draw by Geylang International at the Bedok Stadium on Wednesday night.

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