Hariss hoping to give Stange perfect farewell

Singapore vice-captain Hariss Harun is aiming to ensure head coach Bernd Stange has a swansong to remember when his side face Afghanistan in a 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifying match on Tuesday.

Stange, who was appointed Singapore’s head coach in May 2013, announced on Wednesday that he would not be renewing his contract, which expires next month.

Singapore’s hopes of reaching the third round of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup are long gone, but Hariss has called on his side to end their World Cup qualifying journey on a positive note.

“Whether it’s his last game or not, for us it’s still the same,” Hariss told Channel News Asia. “We want to get as many points as we can and do the best to make our fans believe in us.

“Of course, some results weren’t favourable. (But) we have to take it as a team. It’s not fair to the head coach; I believe as a team we have to take this. He’s brought about a positive philosophy, encouraging us to play. And it’s made us realise we have a lot of work to do.”

In Stange’s nearly three years in the position, Singapore have accumulated a record of 15 wins, three draws and 15 losses.

The 68-year-old admitted that he would be delighted if his side could make it 16 wins so that his reign ends with a positive win-loss record.

“It wasn’t a bad time,” he said. “Hopefully we can go with a positive win-lose record. It would be another good achievement.”

Stange added that Singapore need better facilities if they are to grow and develop into one of Asia’s most revered footballing nations.

“Such a rich and proud nation like Singapore should be able to prepare better facilities for football, and make football more attractive,” he said.