Pennock expects tough clash in cup semis against Warriors

Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock predicts a tough clash against Warriors in the first leg of the Singapore Cup 2019 semi-final at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore today.

“The season is not finished for us. We’re in the semi-finals but to be champions of the Singapore Cup would be an unbelievable achievement,” Pennock said in an interview with the Singapore media after their group game against Albirex Niigata (S) on Wednesday.

“We want to go further and get into the final. We got Warriors FC in the semi-final and we know it will be very difficult.”

The head coach reiterated all of their appearances in the cup competition will be viewed as an away fixture, adding that they will play on an artificial surface as opposed to grass.

“We’ll be away for both legs. We’ll recover and obviously we have a lot of energy today because they (Albirex) are a very good side. But we kept a good shape and we scored a wonderful goal.”

DPMM FC striker Andrei Varankou (L) attempts a shot as an Albirex Niigata (S) player defends during the Singapore Cup 2019 quarter final match at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore. PHOTO: SINGAPORE PREMIER LEAGUE

The former Stoke City assistant manager heaped praise to Azwan Ali’s stunning first half volley that got them into the semi-final.

“They move the ball around and I thought it was a wonderful goal and very pleased to get into the semi-final.”

The Ipswich-born native is aware of the task in hand and hinted another close encounter could be on the cards against their former championship rivals. Warriors famously pipped DPMM FC to the league title on the last day of the 2014 season.

“I think it’s up to us. We have two big games against Warriors and we always have good games against them,” Pennock said of his team’s chances.

“They have some good footballers. It’s not going to be easy so if we do it, we will do it the hard way.”

Though they have lifted the League Cup multiple times, DPMM FC have never won the double in their history and Pennock has set his sights on achieving such feat.

“It’s never been done before so if we win the Singapore Cup, it will be history for the football club.

“But, we’ll take one game at a time with the first leg away and then look forward for the second leg.”

The second leg of the semi-final will be played at the Jurong East Stadium next Wednesday.