Tampines Rovers: Eye on beating Malaysia, Thai league teams, says new coach Juergen Raab

Raab said he believed in modern and attacking football.

Khairul Amri
Amri will be key member of Raab's Tampines unit in 2017 Reuters

Tampines Rovers' newly-appointed head coach Juergen Raab revealed that his aim is to make the Stags the best football club in Singapore and help them become strong enough to compete with teams from Malaysia, Philippines and even Thailand clubs.

The 58-year-old German tactician, who had previously worked with Young Lions in 2015, was roped in by Tampines board to replace Akbar Nawaz, who was in-charge when the Stags were ousted from AFC Champions League (ACL) after their preliminary-round defeat to Philippines' Global FC last month.

However, both club chairman Krishna Ramachandra and the former coach himself revealed that the decision was mutual and that the latter had agreed to help the team with the pre-season duties. Raab's biggest test will be to work with a revamped unit as the five time S.League champions let go off some of their key stars including former Liverpool and Arsenal winger Jermaine Pennant.

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Having already lost the opportunity to progress in the ACL, Tampines will be featuring in the second-tier continental tournament, AFC Cup 2017 and will start their league season on 26 February against Albirex Niigata, which will also double up as the Community Shield, at the National Stadium.

While Stags chairman Krishna Ramachandra had said that Raab's experience of working with the Young Lions and U23 squad will help him flourish at Jurong, the German coach said that he will help the team develop an attacking brand of football.

"The chairman and staff all want to change the style of football - we want modern football, with pressing, dominating the match and attacking. We won't sit back and defend, hoping that we get one good chance to score... Instead, we will go out and try to create 10 or 15 chances to make sure we can score and win," Raab said, as quoted by The New Paper.

"This is a new start for me, with a new team. The target is for Tampines to be the best team in Singapore and compete against clubs from Malaysia, the Philippines and even Thailand - we want to be at that level to beat these teams.

"Tampines are different, they are not the Young Lions, that is why it is important to convince the players that this is the way forward. There will be no compromises with me, they must follow or we will have to do something about it."

This article was first published on February 3, 2017
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