| Fadhil Yunus |
DPMM FC head coach Adrian Pennock heaped praise to his charges after his side held Albirex Niigata (S) to a goalless draw in the AIA Singapore Premier League at the Jurong East Stadium in Singapore on Friday.
“I can’t praise (the players) enough. We know it was going to be difficult. They haven’t lost here since 2015. They’re (Albirex) a very good side,” said Pennock in a post-match interview with the Singapore Premier League.
The Brunei-based outfit were handicapped at a numerical disadvantage for more than half an hour after fullback Najib Tarif was given his marching orders for a second bookable offence.
DPMM FC performed admirably in defence as they withstood the Japanese onslaught and preserved their third successive clean sheet.
“We had that battle and we had to dig in. I just can’t praise them enough. It’s absolutely fantastic. To have seven points out of three games I’m very pleased with that,” the head coach continued.
The former Gillingham head coach welcomed the challenge of returning to contention for the league title, having been out of the running at an early stage last season.
“I would love to be up there. Why not? We haven’t played everybody this season obviously it’s very early days.”
He added, “I think after 10 games, you’ll find out who’s going to be up there or not. We give ourselves good opportunities. We come here to a very difficult place and to get three clean sheets on the spin is fantastic.”
The players have been in high spirits and Pennock reiterated the good atmosphere within the squad.
“We left five to six players at home and they’re all a part of it. We’ve got a great togetherness at the football club and we got to keep the pressure on.”
DPMM FC will not be back to competitive action until April 7 against Tampines Rovers at home and Pennock is eager to build on their momentum.
He said, “My only problem is we haven’t got another game for three and a half weeks. It’s a shame that we can’t continue this. But they deserve a little break and hopefully they’ll be ready for the next game.”