Singapore Coach Radojko Avramovic: China Play Like Thailand (15 August 2009)

Singapore coach Radojko Avramovic believes that the friendly with China in midweek is perfect preparation for the Lions’ 2011 Asian Cup qualifiers against Thailand in November.

The team drew 1-1 on Wednesday with China, a team that Avramovic compared to Thailand.

“The way China played today is very similar to the way Thailand plays,” said the Serbian.

“The two countries have very similar types of players and formations, using two wide players who come inside to create extra players in the attacking area. This is the way most top teams in the world try to play now, 4-3-3 with a triangle in the middle.

“Whoever has the better quality players in this triangle will be more successful. We tried this with Hariss (Harun), Rosman and John (Wilkinson) today, but we struggled in the first half and so went back to 4-4-2, which is our old way.

“We still need more time to improve our game in this area, but for this I will really need to look for different players who can do it. The next question then is where to find them.”

As well as improving personnel, Avramovic wants to improve the players’ habits.

“Our running and off-the-ball movement was not enough,” stressed the 59-year-old.

“You might have seen me shouting to the players, telling them to run. They run when I tell them to, but once I stop shouting, they stop running, and that is not what I want.

“The same thing has been happening at training, and it has been happening in games. This happens because of habit; the players play like this when they are with their clubs, and they play like this for the national team.

“This is a habit I want the players to stop. If the players run more and move more, the team will become better in attack.”