PATRICK Roberto Daniel Da Silva knows where his priorities lie at DPMM FC and for the time being, it isn't scoring goals.
Though DPMM FC are at the summit of the Singapore League (S-League), they haven't won any of their last three competitive games since injured Brazilian striker Rodrigo Gral left late May, scoring only one goal along the way.
Da Silva was signed as his countryman's replacement on Friday, and though the 27-year-old has averaged one goal every two games since lacing up as a professional in 1999, he isn't setting any targets for goals just yet.
"I haven't played in about two and a half months so the most important thing for me right now is to work towards getting fit and give the coach confidence that he can play me," said Da Silva yesterday.
"I want to do my best for the club ... keep the club at the top of the league.
"I was here one month ago on trial ... and it was only recently that they called me back," added the soft-spoken striker who last played for Brazilian side Osvaldo Cruz FC.
Da Silva was among the first to feature in trials after Gral was dismissed but it seems the former Sydney FC forward didn't impress enough to get offered a contract.
The club put around 10 more players through the drills two were still at yesterday's training at the Jerudong Mini Stadium before deciding to sign Da Silva the day the S-League transfer window closed on Friday.
The team's solitary goal in their last three matches, which includes the 1-0 loss to Home United in the first round of the Singapore Cup, came from Adi Said who might see reduced minutes now that Da Silva is on the team list.
Adi opened his account for the club during their 2-1 loss to Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) FC last Saturday but the strike from the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy star wasn't enough to prevent DPMM FC from falling to their first defeat at home in their two S-League seasons.
DPMM FC's lack of experience has been touted as one of the reasons they have left each of their last three games empty-handed, and Vjeran Simunic feels the club's fourth and final import might just solve their problem.
"He's a good player. He can hold the ball well, control the ball well ... He's tall too," said the DPMM FC coach of the 1.83m Da Silva.
"We played well our past three games, but each time, we were playing with three imports against six or seven," said Simunic in reference to the naturalised players in some Singaporean clubs.
"I can only use what I have ... but always the answer is we don't have enough experience to be champions compared to clubs like SAF FC, (defending champions) Tampines Rovers FC and Harimau Muda.
"After our win against Balestier Khalsa FC (at the end of the first round) there was a month's break and that was crucial (in the results) too ... Plus the loss of Gral," said the Croatian as he tried to explain the team's recent poor form.
With the team playing their next match on July 18 against Albirex Niigata (S) FC, probably the only one happy with the lengthy layoff will be Da Silva who will no doubt be using the time to get match fit and gain Simunic's trust.The Brunei Times
Sunday, July 1, 2012
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