By Gabriel TanFollow @@gabetan13
The Warriors headed into Wednesday's clash at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium looking to record their first win of the year following last Thursday's 2-2 draw with Woodlands Wellington, and got off to a fine start when they took the lead through a Sufian Anuar strike in the 10th minute
However, Tanjong Pagar hit back a minute later when Kamel Ramdani headed home from close range, before they raced to a 4-1 lead before the half-hour mark thanks to a Monsef Zerka brace and a bullet header from Anthony Aymard.
Ramdani then added a fifth for the Jaguars eight minutes after the break, before Zerka wrapped up the rout by completing his hat-trick in the 81st minute.
The visitors' first five goals were a result of right-wing crosses, with Ismael Benahmed and Hafiz Nor whipping in some excellent deliveries, while the 6th came after Zerka robbed Marin Vidosevic of the ball outside the Warriors box before racing through to score, leaving Selvaraj lamenting his side's poor defending.
"We were not really good in defending crosses today [Wednesday]," he said. "We should not only stop the crosses from coming in, but also keep tight on their men.
"It started well and we scored a goal but eventually things turned sour. We started to get a bit loose [with our marking] and they were quite fast with their breaks, so we couldn't match their speed in those instances.
"It took us a bit too long to settle down but until then everything went well for them and they were up by three goals."
Nonetheless, Selvaraj was of the opinion that it was better for Warriors to be handed such a defeat early on in the season as it gave them time to address their problems.
"It's better to lose awfully now than later," he added. "These are the games that really let me find out where we are going wrong.
"We are definitely not capable of a performance like this. We should reflect on all this, look forward and work harder when we get back in training.
"The players realised where they went wrong, especially on an individual basis, so we should move on."
The Warriors were particularly exposed down the left due to teenage full-back Zakir Samsudin, but by the time he was replaced by Syaiful Iskandar in the 35th minute, the damage had already been done, although his coach was unwilling to single out his youngster for criticism.
"I would say yes," Selvaraj replied when asked if Zakir's inexperience had been exploited. "But he's young and learning.
"He has a lot of potential."
Despite the impressive winning margin, Tanjong Pagar coach Patrick Vallee downplayed the significance of the 6-1 scoreline, although he admitted it had been easier to bear that last Friday's 3-1 win over Balestier Khalsa, which was only secured at the death thanks to a 90th-minute Hafiz Nor strike.
"I have nothing to say about 6-1," he said. "For me, it's just one win.
"6-1 is very good for my heart, unlike against Balestier when it was only a 2-1 lead until the end. It's a good start but it's only been two games.
"It's only the start of the season, not the end, and we must be careful with the players and for the next game."
Two games into the new campaign, the Jaguars have already scored more than half their goal tally and also have more than a quarter of the total points they accrued in the 2012 season, and are already regarded as potential title challengers.
But what is likely to alarm the rest of the competition is the fact that Vallee believes his side can get better.
"I'm sure we can go up another level," the Frenchman added. "You know why? It is because we missed some chances and we conceded two goals [in the two games].
"I don't like to concede goals, so sure we can go up another level.
"Of course I cannot say for certain what level that is, but we can surely improve more. But it's good to start like this because you don't know what can happen in a few weeks or months.
"Maybe the players will start getting injured or tired, maybe lightning [will force the game to be abandoned], maybe we have no chances on one occasion - you never know. When you can pick up points, it is always good."
In addition to Zerka, Ramdani and Aymard getting on the score-sheet, Benahmed also weighed in with two assists while Aurelien Herrison put in a steady shift in goal, but Vallee was quick to insist his foreign players are not the sole reason for Tanjong Pagar's fine start to 2013.
"I think he [Zerka] did his job but it wasn't just him," the ex-Etoile boss said. "I must congratulate my whole team as Monsef scored three goals because the other players assisted him on three occasions.
"Also, there were four guys at the back protecting Aurelien, and Aurelien was protecting the goal. I must congratulate the whole team, not only Monsef.
"I'm very happy for Monsef, but I'm also happy for Kamel and Ismael, who made two assists today [Wednesday]. My team is not only made up of the foreign players.
"My team is local and foreign - one team and not two teams. What is most important to me is the team, not one or two players.
"It's very good that Monsef scored three goals, but if Sazali [Salleh] scored three I would also be very happy."
Tanjong Pagar are back in action next Tuesday when they take on Harimau Muda in their first home game of the season at the Queenstown Stadium.
Image courtesy of Warriors FC (NATSTUDIOS)