– 12th man support needed to complete journey
Describing Tuesday’s game against Costa Rica as the second toughest after playing against CONCACAF giants Mexico on the opening day of Group B action in the third round, 2014 World Cup Qualifiers and facing a 3-1 defeat at the Estadio Azteca Stadium, Golden Jaguars Head Coach, Jamaal Shabazz told the media at the Guyana National Stadium yesterday that the 12th man’s support will be essential for as it will coincide with team’s performance and complete the journey. “I was trying to talk to the players during (Mexico game). At half time the players thought that I was singing, they just saw my lips moving. It was so intimidating,” the coach said.
The coach highlighted that it is also a bonus to know the opponents you will playing against and was grateful for the exposure granted by the Guyana Football Federation (GFF) earlier in the year to observe a game with Costa Rica as it was beneficial to him for this upcoming game. “We know the style they play and the system they play but in world football today there are very little secrecy about each other. They have tapes on us and they know a lot about us, it literally blanks us out and comes to what happens on the day.”
Declaring that the team energy level will be on par for their game on Tuesday, Shabazz reached out to the Transport Minister to look into the matter as it pertains to athletes especially being able to have direct flights to avoid situations which will not be beneficial. “We had a long layover in Trinidad and Tobago of five hours which was no good.”
Shabazz also indicated that players from Sweden have notified their interest to play for the team.
With Costa Rica being a formidable opponent Shabazz disclosed that the team will be playing more offensive as they try to create as much chances that they can to register goals against Costa Rica.
“We cannot be stupid, Costa Rica is a formidable opponent and we can rush into 6, 7, 8 goals here if we play open, we must play tight, compact and safe. We have to look for the moment when we have the opportunity to attack.”
The training in Colombia benefited the team tremendously as they were compatible with the atmosphere the head coach stated that the game was a profitable one as a lot was extracted from it. “They were times when we were under a lot of pressure but the guys bonded together and this was the biggest positive for me. Losing the match but still seeing good things coming out of it for the future.”
He added that it was unfortunate that the team presently have 36 players as all of them want to play to represent their country.
Asking the coach about the injury concerns in the team, he disclosed that Carl Cort, a veteran, and one that takes a longer time to recover, along with both John-Paul Rodrigues and Richard Reynolds are not 100 percent fit.
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