FAS ● May 23, 2024

Ogura explains National Team selection for matches against Korea and Thailand



Tsutomu Ogura discusses his squad selection for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Qualifiying matches against Korea Republic and Thailand next month.


On Jordan Emaviwe’s first call-up



Jordan has been playing well in the Singapore Premier League and he gives us an interesting option in defence. He has the physical attributes to be a very good defender and it’s the right time to test himself at international level. He will provide good competition for the more experienced defenders and if he performs well during this window, during training as well as if he is fielded, he could become an important player for future national teams.


On players not selected


There are many good players playing in the Singapore Premier League and overseas. I choose the squad that I think is best for the immediate challenge, which in this case is against Korea Republic and Thailand. This doesn’t mean that those not picked in this window are not important. We have a small pool of local professional players and as far as I’m concerned, they are all important for us to progress as a national team. Each match we play has its own challenges, and for me, it is about picking a team for each specific challenge. This is the right squad for these two matches, but in the next window, there will be other challenges and perhaps a different squad.


What we can expect from this squad



The most important thing is progress. We made some improvements in our performances against China, and it is crucial we keep making progress in developing our Singapore way of playing football. There is no doubt that Korea is one of the best teams in Asia and Thailand one of the best in ASEAN. We should always want to test ourselves against the best, to see where we are at in our journey. For sure, I want to win both matches but what’s most important is to see progress.


On a full National Stadium against Korea



It’s been a long time since we played in front of 50,000 fans and I’m looking forward to it. You can see how the fans gave our team a lift against China, and they are very important when we play a team like Korea, to help us put up a strong fight against one of the best teams in Asia. I’ve never heard the Kallang Roar at full capacity, but I’ve been told it’s very intimidating. I hope to experience it myself for the first time.


What can we expect from Korea and Thailand



For sure both teams are very good. Korea has players playing at the top leagues in the world, while Thailand has always been one of the best in ASEAN. Of course, Korea has a caretaker coach and it’s hard to tell what team he will put out, but you can be sure it will be a strong team as this is an important match for them as they will want to top the group. We need to focus on our own game and be at our very best if we are to get something from these two matches.




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