Schafer defends under-fire Hector
He might still be celebrating a dream move to Barclays Premier League champions Chelsea, but Jamaican defender Michael Hector has again drawn criticism from Reggae Boyz fans following his latest performance against Nicaragua on Friday.
Hector was caught in possession for Nicaragua's third goal in their surprising 3-2 win over the Reggae Boyz in their World Cup Qualifier inside the National Stadium with the 23-year-old defender getting the stick from the locals, who jeered and booed the defender for the remainder of the contest.
This latest slip-up follows two mistakes by the defender that led to goals in the team's 3-1 loss to Mexico in the final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, as well as several other unconvincing performances in the Copa America tournament.
Nonetheless, head coach Winfried Schafer is standing by his player and says he finds it difficult to understand the criticisms being labelled at the player, whom he described as a key member of the team.
very good player
"I've been in football all of my life. This player (Michael Hector) has a very good character, this player is
a very good player," outlined Schafer in Friday night's post-match press
"In the Gold Cup, he played good when we called on him. This player is very, very happy to come play for Jamaica, and I don't understand the supporters," Schafer questioned.
Hector has now played in seven international games for Jamaica and made 49 appearances for Reading in all competitions last season.
Despite his £4-million purchase, Hector is not expected to turn out for Chelsea anytime soon, as he will remain at Reading on loan for the remainder of the season.
Meanwhile, in his post-game press conference, centre forward and goal-scorer Darren Mattocks assured that the team will do better when they meet the Nicaraguans again today in the return leg.
"In this game (Friday night), people would say it's an upset. It was the first time some of our players are playing in Kingston, but we are not going to use that as an excuse, because we know each and every player on the field has the ability to do well but, as I said, we are gonna improve and move forward," Mattocks said.