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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

V. Sundramoorthy won't replicate Bernd Stange's tactics for Singapore

V. Sundramoorthy deserves more time as Singapore head coach, but will never replicate the fast-tempo style of his predecessor Bernd Stange.

That's the opinion of Bernard Tan, vice-president of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) provisional council.

Sundram, 51, is only three months away from the end of his one-year contract as national team boss. And his recent record hasn't good, with Singapore failing to win a game at last November's AFF Suzuki Cup as they exited in the group stage.

Now the Lions are preparing for the third round of 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying, beginning next month.

"Every coach has his supporters and detractors. But, in my book, Sundram has a good head on his shoulders, and he should be given a shot to lead us into the Asian Cup," Tan told The New Paper.

"But, this is my view and the decision [on Sundram's future] has to be taken by the FAS provisional council."

Singapore will go on the road to face Bahrain on March 28, with Chinese Taipei and Turkmenistan the other teams in their Group E.

Tan says that Sundram's contract situation should be sorted out before the Lions begin their 12-month qualifying process. But they can't expect the ex-national winger to be the saviour for all of their problems.

He said: "Football is too complex a problem to solve with one thing. There is no silver bullet, no one lever you can pull that will change things -- the new council needs solid ideas."

Singapore coach Bernd Stange
Bernd Stange failed to improve Singapore football in his three years as national team coach.

As for Sundram's often cautious and counter-attacking style -- they scored only one goal in three matches in the Suzuki Cup -- Tan says every coach must play the way they're comfortable with.

German Stange employed a faster, attacking style, but won only 15 of 35 games in charge over a three-year period -- and many of those victories were against so-called lesser footballing nations.

"I had a conversation with Sundram about the high-tempo style of football that I felt would raise our level of football," Tan continued.

"He told me: 'If you want that, you've got the wrong coach. I have to study the opponents and play with the players I have. I organise the team to optimise the strengths and minimise their weaknesses to win games. I will not be locked in to play a certain style.

"He has a down-to-earth practical approach to the game. He has a view and he defended his view. And I respect him for that."

Sundram added that S.League clubs don't play the pass and rush style, which makes it difficult for him to implement at national level.

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