Ilso eyeing more goals against hosts DPMM
Home United's Ilso has scored four times in away games against DPMM
BRUNEI DPMM v HOME UNITED
(Tomorrow, 8.15pm, Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium)
The record hardly flatters Home United - two draws and a loss from three Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League matches, with no clean sheets.
Along with bottom side Balestier Khalsa, the Protectors, one off the bottom in eighth spot, have yet to win this season.
It is an unexpected start to the campaign, considering they were regarded in some quarters as potential darkhorses for the title.
But one statistic is in Home's favour as they seek their first league win this season when they take on champions Brunei DPMM at the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium tomorrow.
Philippe Aw's main striker Ken Ilso scored four times against DPMM in Brunei in the S.League last season.
The 29-year-old Dane netted once in the 2-2 draw last March, and grabbed a hat-trick in a 4-4 draw stalemate last October.
The former Fortuna Dusseldorf forward has already opened his account this season with a goal in the 1-1 draw against title favourites Tampines Rovers last week, and will return to his happy hunting ground tomorrow for more.
"I scored some goals against them in Brunei, and also made a few assists (in the 3-2 RHB Singapore Cup loss last October) at the Jalan Besar Stadium," said Ilso, just before Home's training session at Bishan Stadium yesterday.
"I like playing them in general; we always have good matches against them, with a lot of goals. And when there are a lot of goals, there is a big chance that I might score," he added, with a cheeky smile.
Coach Aw has complete faith in his striker's ability.
"I think he can continue to score, but Ken is not just about scoring goals. He plays other teammates into goalscoring opportunities as well," said the Home coach.
"So if he gets tightly marked, then the rest will have their chances to score."
While Steve Kean has retained the services of Northern Irish defender Brian McLean, the former Blackburn manager was forced to part with no-nonsense Bosnian defender Boris Raspudic and combative Irish midfielder Joe Gamble, due to S.League changes that permit only three foreign players per team this season.
DPMM also retained Portuguese winger Paulo Sergio and Brazilian striker Rafael Ramazotti.
A DIFFERENT TEAM
Said Ilso: "DPMM are not exactly the same team compared to last year - offensively, they still have some of the players so we know a lot about them in that department.
"Defensively, we have been talking about how they are operating tactically on the field and where we might be able to attack them."
Both Ilso and Aw believe Home have been better than their record suggests, and blamed poor finishing and defending for the winless run.
Aw said: "Of the four goals we conceded, one was a penalty and two were free-kicks at the edge of the box.
"We have to be more patient and not give away silly free-kicks around the box, and we have spoken about this.
"Performance-wise, we are not worried; it's about finishing our chances now."
While they will be travelling to the home of the champions, both coach and striker are bullish about returning with a win.
Ilso said: "I am always confident we will get the three points, and this time we better get it."
I like playing them (Brunei DPMM) in general; we always have good matches against them, with a lot of goals. And when there are a lot of goals, there is a big chance that I might score.
— Home United attacker Ken Ilso