Singapore Under-23 boss Richard Tardy hopes that Wednesday night’s 1-0 victory over India U23 will lift the cloud of negativity around the developmental side ahead of next month’s Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
After losing 1-0 to the Indians on Sunday night, the Young Lions turned the tables at Choa Chu Kang Stadium, with Ikhsan Fandi’s second-half penalty proving the difference.
“I read in the papers that many people say this team ‘no chance’, ‘lacklustre’ and so many bad things after Sunday night’s game, but you must remember these are young players,” Tardy said.
“This win is very important for our confidence because the players don’t like to lose too much, but it does not change much in my mind. I say before we just lack the consistency.”
The Singaporeans depart for the AFC U23 Championship qualifiers next week, and the fact that they beat Stephen Constantine’s Indians without several regulars was especially pleasing for Tardy.
“I’m happy for the team to find this win without Irfan [Fandi], Adam [Swandi] and Dhukhilan,” Tardy said. “We have a good group of 23 players. The most important thing is to do well in the two big competitions.
“More than 50 percent of this team can play in the SEA Games 2019, so we have potential. We just need to work and train more.” Against India, Singapore were awarded a penalty in the 51st minute when substitute Syahrul Sazali ws brought down in the box.
Ikhsan slotted home the spot kick in off the bar for the only goal of the game.
Tardy implored Singapore fans to be patient with the Young Lions in the build up to August’s SEA Games, and not judge them too harshly on the AFC U23 qualifiers in Myanmar.
“We shouldn’t be looking so much at results… don’t forget these are your young players,” Tardy said. “We need the support from everyone and positive pressure. The players are not stupid, they read the papers.”
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