Interview with Head Coach Jorg Steinebrunner
By Eagles Admin on 17 March 2015
The Eagles Media Team caught up with Head Coach Jorg to gather his thoughts on the pre-season preparations and the season ahead.
Coach, your thoughts and views from winning the KATA Group Hotel Challenge Trophy against Phuket FC and also recording decent results in the pre-season against Felda United, Warriors FC and Singapore U-21?
Pre-season has always an objective of setting up your team for the upcoming season. We did very well in some of the objectives and areas for this season. It is always the same, time and time again. As a club we always look forward to do well in the pre-season and carry it forward to the league season. However, it is always easier said than done.
Our expectations are always, in a certain level of doing better than last year. We want to play better football and be more competitive throughout the season. Pre-season results were very encouraging to the club, fans and players.
In the season opener, against Home United, we brought in our pre-season form into the game and it resulted in a satisfying draw. Everybody knows that the first game of any season is the most difficult game. End of the day, I am satisfied and delighted when looking at the performance and the results of Geylang International in the past two fixtures.
What was the mindset implemented in the players for this season and what did you focus specially on this season to improve the Eagles’ game play from last year ? What could the fans look forward to when the Eagles’ play next?
It is clearly a different team than last year. Firstly, with the inclusion of new players including the foreign signings, there is more experience in the team.
Secondly, we have definitely established ourselves as a football team who likes to occupy football most of time. We love to dominate ball possession. As compared to last year, we are also trying out various tactics of defending. Playing much higher up, when we defend is one factor we look forward for this season.
As a team, collectively we are improvising tactically, as compared to last season and the pre-season paid its dividends with decent results. In our opening first two games, we are trying to stamp our authority on the game right from the kick-off. However, to become better is always a moulding process and improvements will be worked on during the season as well.
Honestly, not an intended start for Geylang International, with 1 Draw and 1 Loss but what actually went wrong and what can we look forward to in the game against Hougang United?
I would say the first game vs. Home United was a satisfying performance. It was a fair result according to me as Home United is a top team in Singapore whilst Geylang International has not done well last season. If only we had a bit more of luck, at one point of the game, we could have possible won it against Home United. Nevertheless and satisfied with my boys’ performance.
Against Balestier Khalsa, we had some spells in the game. In my opinion, the Tigers played a very rough game which destroyed our playing rhythm and that did not let us get in the game. We also had good moments when he played our passing and held onto possession. However, apart form that we did have about three to four chances at goal after 1-1, but just could not convert them. Overall, we didn’t find our playing style and during the game, some situations or calls did not went in our favour or way.
Going back to the question, against Hougang United, we have to go back to how we played in the pre-season. I think, the boys need to be relaxed in a positive way. With the season started, it definitely adds pressure to the players. If we go back to play our football style and do the right things, we can see an improved performance against Hougang. If we keep true to our style and put 100% in the game, we are in for a good and a positive possible outcome from the fixture.
Looking forward to your first win against Hougang United at Bedok Stadium?
We always look forward to win games but we have to respect our opponents first. Hougang United have managed 2 draws against Courts Young Lions and Home United already. It is not going to be easy, to just play and pick up the points. We have to respect our opponents. If we put in our hard work and competitiveness spirit, we hopefully stand a good chance to win in the game at Bedok Stadium. To win or must win, I have never said that to my players. It adds pressure to the boys, and we don’t need the unnecessary pressure. I believe and know that the team is good enough on the long run to get points and the results right way
Are the Eagles ready to take on the ‘Big Boys or Giants’ and compete for this season’s title in this SG50 year?
It’s a big question and we have got a long season to go. We have to look from where we came from last season first. I think If we can step it up a notch from last year and finish in a good position, then we have already achieved something.
We aim to have a good Singapore Cup run this season. Everything else higher than a mid-table finish is an added bonus. For this season, finishing top 5 would be a respectable target for the club. Attaining a higher position, would be added incentive.
Fans are always very supportive wherever we play, be it home or away. In Singapore it doesn’t really matter whether we play home or away game. Then again, credits to the supporters whom are alongside us and in both our previous game, we could hear the Eagles’ fans chants and support which gave us motivational support. Support of our fans is always helpful and beneficial to Geylang International aka The Eagles.