Hougang United's new head coach Nenad Bacina warned about complacency during a press release but also acknowledges a good pre-season overall is a boost for his lads. The former Woodlands coach also said that his revamped team looks to emulate former Cheetahs coach Aide Iskandar's success of a 7th position or better.
"We will take a match-by-match approach and as long as the players approach each game with a professional attitude and play with heart, at the end of the day the result will come." - Nenad Bacina
The introduction of Nenad has seen Hougang United bolster it's squad with a couple of shrewd signings from Croatia as well as players from Geylang United and Balestier Khalsa.
Croatian midfielder and playmaker Ante Barac pairs up with industrious Azhar Sairudin at the centre of the park. They will be assisted by Ridhwan Osman and Nurhilmi Jasni, both formely Balestier midfielders.
Stanislav Vidakovic who towers at 1.95m partners Syaqir Sulaiman at the core of defence. New signings, defenders Khayrulhayat Jumat and Hasree Zais from Geylang United's prime league join in the ranks of the Hougang back four.
Marshalling this backline is no-nonsense defender - Lau Meng Meng. This lad has had an outstanding performance last year keeping wingers at bay with his hard but precise tackles, thus earning him the Captain's armband. Faizal Amir joins his captain in safeguarding the byline.
Filling the shoes of former colleague Fadhil Salim is goalkeeper Ridzuan Fatah Hassan; he will be the man that puts the stop to all the shots. Former Jaguars keeper Ng Jia Fa backs up Ridzuan in goal.
In attack, we have Diallo Mamadou who is renown for his fleeting dribbles and panchant for goals. Pre-season looks decent for the Guinean attacking midfielder as he bags 3 goals out of 6 games. He may form a strike partnership with Basit Abdul Hamid, Nurhidayat Khamarudin or striker Ignatius Ng, another signing from Courts Young Lions.
Last but definately not the least - he is dubbed the "Canadian Assassin" by his fans, at 23 years of age, Jordan Webb is no stranger to Hougang United fans and supporters as all eyes will be on this man. The Canadian drew top honours with 14 goals last season making him one of the top finishers in the league. Thanks to his trademark runs and Sorie Mazelan's hardworking wide attacks, Hougang's arsenal have been firing at all cylinders.
If the Cheetahs can snatch a surprise 3 points from Tanjong Pagar, it may put Hougang United on top of the table for the first time, at least for the next 24 hours.
Date: Thursday, 9th Feburary, 2012
Venue: Hougang Stadium, 7.45pm kick-off
Tickets: $5.00 (adult), S$1.00 (student)