By Alison ChinFollow @@AlisonChin9
Despite having the better of possession and creating more chances over the course of the game, Tanjong Pagar were forced to settle for a draw at the Queenstown Stadium after striker Monsef Zerka cancelled out Chang Jo-yoon's opening goal for the Rams late in the second-half.
The Jaguars have yet to record their first home win of the season, but Vallee insisted that he was not bothered by their struggles at Queenstown Stadium.
"It's okay, we'll win away. If you win at home and draw away, you're the champions. If I draw at home and win away, who knows?" he jested.
The Frenchman sobered up when he was quizzed about his players' performance in the game and admitted that he was disappointed the Jaguars did not come away with the victory.
"We played on Sunday and travelled on Monday. Their players played on Friday, so they had two days more of rest. I know that my team is quite tired, but I think we deserved to win. We missed a lot of chances tonight [Thursday] and that is our weak point, and we gave them one goal from our mistake," Vallee stated.
"We came back just after them. It was very good and I was sure we could win because we created some chances, but I told my players before the game, 'Tonight, one point or three would be very good.' I cannot blame them because I told them that it was a very good result. This year, Woodlands is a very good team. They will challenge for the top three."
Woodlands boss Salim Moin was delighted with the manner in which Chang struck the game's opening goal and predicted an international call-up for his player in the future.
"In the first 30 minutes, I played Moon Soon-ho as a lone striker, with the support of Chang Jo-yoon and Khalid [Hamdaoui]. But it did not work, so I changed it. Chang Jo-yoon moved upfront and Khalid played behind the two strikers. It worked. Every time Chang Jo-yoon got the ball, he created problems for the opponent. He should have taken a few shots when the opportunity arose," he pointed out.
"He is able to do something unusual. He has an instinct for goal. When that goal was scored, he had very nice timing. He read the game and had anticipation, and intercepted the ball in between the two defenders. He scored a good goal."
"I've known about Chang since he was a player for Gombak United. He is a very interesting player, sometimes he works too hard and gets tired easily. The important thing is that he gets on the ball, and he's very tricky and causes a lot of problems for the opponent with his silky style of play. Dribbling requires a lot of energy, so he gets exhausted, but if he continues to use his assets, he'll be a very interesting player. If he continues to play well, South Korea might call him up. He's very skilful."
The Rams boss also refused to criticize third-choice goalkeeper Fearghus Lyle despite the 23-year's fumble in the run-up to Zerka's equalizer.
"I don't blame the keeper because he's very young. It was a lapse in concentration. I informed my backline that in such a situation they should have just taken the risk of sliding in. If all you do is follow, this is what will happen. I don't blame the keeper, he did his best," Moin said.
"The ball bounced off his chest and it resulted in the goal. Other than that, he made a few good challenges for aerial balls, so credit must go to him for his bravery."
With Geylang International set to visit Woodlands Stadium for the team's next fixture, Moin revealed that he expected veteran custodian Yazid Yasin to return from injury in time to face his former club.
"I believe he [Yazid] should be able to play against his old club. All of my former Geylang players are looking forward to playing against them," Moin shared.
The draw between Tanjong Pagar and Woodlands Wellington sees the Rams move ahead of DPMM FC to fifth in the S.League table, while Vallee's team remain one point behind Albirex Niigata (S) in third place.
Image courtesy of Tanjong Pagar United FC