By Gabriel Tan
Following a flying start to the 2012 Great Eastern-YEO's S.League season, the Tigers underwent something of a mini-slump in the last two weeks when they picked up just one point from two matches against Geylang United and Courts Young Lions.
However, they put in a resolute performance on Friday evening to pick up a valuable three points against the White Swans, and Stewart understandably cut a delighted figure after the game.
"Our attitude proved the difference today [Friday]," the Australian tactician said after the game. "I cannot ask for more from the players.
"I think you've got to give credit to the boys. We really pushed and pressed them [Albirex] and we could have had a couple more to be honest.
"Even if the result had not gone our way tonight [Friday], I still wouldn't have been disappointed with the performance. From start to end, it was just quality."
It wasn't just the result that was so impressive, but the manner in which the Tigers achieved it after harrying their opponents for the full 90 minutes and preventing them from playing their usual fast passing game, something Stewart believes was key to the win.
"There won't be many teams that will come here and get three points, I can guarantee you that," the former Gombak United coach added.
"A good team like Albirex will always create chances, but I think our boys were tremendous.
"Being physical has been an area we've worked on. Being aggressive in our pressing game is what we're good at, and we weren't in our last two games, so I'm just pleased that the boys have responded.
"I think we deserve to be where we are and I don't think anyone can take that away from us."
One of the main reasons why the Tigers' pressing game was so effective on Friday night was due to Stewart's deployment of Goran Subara in midfield.
The 24-year-old never stopped chasing down his opponents all night long, and admitted it had not been easy keeping the usually-lively Albirex attack under wraps.
"It was hard work - it's not easy playing against Albirex who like to play football - but we stuck together and took the three points," Subara said.
"Against every team you have to be a bit physical because that's what football is, but especially against them [Albirex], who like to play.
"When you get into them a little bit, they get frustrated and they can't play as much as they want to."
The Australian, who has spent much of this season forming an imposing partnership with captain Paul Cunningham in defence, not only provided a calming presence in front of the back four, but even got into a number of goalscoring opportunities.
And despite revealing earlier in the season that he feels most comfortable in defence, Subara revealed he relishes any chance he gets to play further up the field.
"I do miss playing in midfield," he added. "In the first seven games, I've played at the back.
"In midfield, it's a bit more work and I don't mind getting stuck in doing the hard work so it was good. I enjoyed it."
Albirex coach Koichi Sugiyama also paid tribute to the Tigers after the game, and believes their discipline proved the difference on the night.
"I think the best point of Balestier is not their physicality, but their organisation in defence," Sugiyama said. "They play very compactly."
"I think that's where Balestier stopped us tonight [Friday]."
Stewart's charges will be looking to maintain their winning ways when they take on SAFFC at the Toa Payoh Stadium next Thursday, while Sugiyama will hope to arrest his team's woeful form - they have now gone four games without a win - when they play Hougang next Friday.