By Suhas BhatFollow @@suhasrbhat
The Japanese side succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the Woodlands Stadium on Tuesday night with the result also ending their perfect start to the 2013 Great Eastern-YEO's S.League season.
Within the game, they were dominant in terms of possession but could not penetrate the Woodlands box and struggled to deal with the slippery conditions.
Kento Nagasaki managed to score one goal for the White Swans but that came between two strikes by Khalid Hamdaoui and Chang Jo-yoon.
However, their Japanese coach cut a stoic figure after the defeat and took consolation from the fact that his men would remain in second place ahead of the next round. Currently, they boast a five-point lead over Tanjong Pagar United although the Jaguars do have a game in hand.
"Six consecutive wins was always very difficult to achieve," he told reporters after the game. "We're still in a good position near the top of the table. We don't need to change our objectives for the season after just one defeat."
"I think Woodlands did a good job tonight [Tuesday] even if the pitch was a bit slippery so we couldn't play our usual style of play.
"Through the season, we will lose certain games but now we must bounce back and look forward to the next game."
A great many of Albirex's goals this term have come from long-range efforts but the White Swans found that they might need to carve out more opportunities from close range in future games. Sugiyama remains confident, though, that his players will not be bogged down by the defensive-minded tactics of their opponents and find the goals needed to win subsequent fixtures.
"There are many ways to score and in the future, I'm sure we can score from within the box as well," he continued.
"I don't think it's a problem that a lot of our goals came from distance.
"I'm a bit unhappy that we couldn't play like we usually do but I think the players still put in a good shift."
Woodlands Wellington coach Salim Moin was far more upbeat in his press gathering on the pitch after the game. Outlining that Albirex have a strong midfield, he was happy that his players managed to nullify the White Swans' threat in the game.
"The gameplan was to disrupt the midfield play of our opponents. Albirex cycle possession really well and they have good midfielders who can control the game," the 51-year-old revealed.
"I told my players the key men to mark and watch out for. Taufiq [Rahmat], [Atsushi] Shimono and Ridhwan [Osman] did well in that regard.
"We have to change the gameplan against DPMM [FC] now."
Woodlands face the Brunei outfit at the Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium later in the week on Sunday.