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Salim:"Every game now as a Cup game"

Salim Moin taking charge of Stags this season
Just barely a week before their first competitive game of the season - against South China AA of Hong Kong in the continent's elite club tournament - Asian Champions League (ACL) playoff on the 2nd of February, the preparation of the reigning S.League champions Tampines Rovers is far from impressive.

Except for the clean sheet they maintained in their recent Cambodian trip that saw them notched two wins over their opponents in Phnom Penh, the Stags found themselves struggling to pull their act together on the home soil where they succumbed to a 1-0 loss to Geylang International in a friendly played this afternoon at Bedok Stadium.

Miljan Mrdakovic (10) - new Stags signing

Roberto Gamarra (19) in action for Stags

Inside the box action in the second half

This defeat is the third out of the five friendlies Tampines played so far (following their 7-1 loss to Johor Darul Ta’zim and 2-0 defeat to Felda United), such a less than ideal preparation had critics wonder if Salim Moin's men are gearing up on the right mode for the big stage?

"We may have the disadvantage now with South China are at their peak right now," said Coach Salim after the match against the Eagles, who sealed the win with a late penalty by new signing Leonel Felice in the injury time.

Duric (left) doubled up as a stretcher man

Matthew Abraham (14) defused the danger

Leonel Felice (9) nailed the win from spot

"But it's basically come down to the game itself and we believe we can rise to the occasion by taking every game now as a Cup game."

"We had a good pre-season in Cambodia recently, but I don't know why some players tend to hold back when facing local opponents, still I think we can get things work out and reorganize." added the former Woodlands Wellington coach who revealed to this blogger that he would like to have one friendly game before next Sunday to have a "better idea of his team".