Pennock calls Albirex, Hougang as top two teams in Singapore

Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock has labelled Albirex Niigata (S) and Hougang United as the top two teams in the division ahead of a much-anticipated clash against Albirex Niigata (S) in the Singapore Cup at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore tonight.

The Gegar Gegar men are in the driving seat at the top of Group ‘B’ and a point will be enough to secure qualification to the knock-out stages in successive years.

“For me, they (Hougang and Albirex) are the best teams in the league. Albirex are very dangerous the way they play football and Hougang obviously have a very good squad,” Pennock told the Bulletin at the Jerudong Mini Stadium recently.

“I know the table might say differently with Tampines above them but I think over the season those two teams caused more trouble than any others.”

He said qualifying will be a huge boost for the team.

“Hopefully we will qualify. We need to get out of the group and worry about DPMM FC getting out of the group first.

“What happens to the other three, we’ll have to see what happens,” the former Gillingham manager said.

In the other Group ‘B’ match, Hougang United will play Geylang International with either team hoping for the White Swans to slip up to sneak into the knock-out stages.

The head coach has set his sights on winning the double in his first season in charge having clinched the Singapore Premier League title.

“It will be lovely to do the double because it is our aim,” said Pennock whose side will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to four games against the Japanese outfit.

DPMM FC edged Hougang 1-0 last Saturday and drew 1-1 against Geylang International in their opening two games in the cup competition.

Last year, the Brunei side went all the way to the final en route to their best result in their history in the competition, where they fell short of the title after a 4-1 defeat to Albirex.

The Brunei-based outfit will be confirmed as group winners if they exact a measure of redemption against the White Swans with a victory.

DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock watches his players during a training session. PHOTO: FADHIL YUNUS