After eight matches in charge and only four points to show for his efforts, Firdaus Kassim has lost his place as Hougang United’s head coach of its Singapore Premier League side.
On 17 April just before 11pm, Hougang United posted on its Facebook and Instagram accounts that Firdaus would be reassigned to the youth team setup after a review of the “performances and results of its senior team to date in the 2023 SPL season”.
The club also announced that Marko Kraljevic, a former Balestier Khalsa coach, would take over as interim head coach, a role many had speculated that he was in line for following the recent poor run of results of the Singapore Cup defending champions.
Kraljevic has not won the league title with Balestier Khalsa in the two stints he has had with them from 2014 to 2019 and then again from 2019 to 2021.
But then again, no one has.
What he did achieve was a Singapore Cup championship at the end of the 2014 season, and a S-league Coach of the Year title to boot that same year.
“In deriving this decision, the club acknowledges that the performances and results of the team this season have been below par, with the club unacceptably rooted at the bottom of the table,” said the statement.
On 18 April, the club added a quote from Kraljevic, saying, “I have been working closely with Firdaus.
“We were very unfortunate with the number of injuries to our key players.”
“We have to get the players back to playing with confidence, to get the believe back.
“To do that, the team need to stick together, as there are two more rounds of competition to fight for.”
The club is currently rooted at the bottom of the table, even below perennial cellar dwellers Young Lions and Balestier Khalsa.
AI PHOTOS: OFF STRAITS TIMES/BALESTIER KHALSA