Fri | Sep 22, 2017

Edwards wants improvement against Cuba

Published:Tuesday | February 28, 2017 | 2:00 AMLivingston Scott
Cuba’s Cristofer Llorente goes up for a header with Jamaica’s Nickque Daley (right) in their first encounter at Winchester Park on Sunday.

Jamaica Under-17 men's football team coach Andrew Edwards says they will be looking to improve their finishing and defensive application when they take on Cuba in the second match of their two-game friendly series at the JFF Technical Centre, today at 3:00 p.m.

Edwards was pleased with the team's defensive display and chances created in the first game which ended 0-0 at Winchester Park on Sunday, but he wants the team to be more clinical up front and tighter at the back in today's game.

"I thought our defending (in the first game) was fair, overall. We were recovering the ball better, higher up the pitch, and in midfield, it was a lot better than we usually did. We also did better in the second half, and that reduced the number of chances. So overall, it was a big step forward. But we gifted Cuba a few chances, nothing clear cut. But if Cuba was better at the front, they could have hurt us, so we have to tighten up at the back and we have to work on our decision making and the quality of our finishing at the other end of the pitch," he said.

The young Reggae Boyz have not won in five practice matches now, losing two games both to USA and Canada late last year, but although winning the second game against the Cubans is of vital importance, for Edwards, the focus is on developmental targets.

 

IMPORTANCE OF WINNING

 

"We always want to win the games, and we never want to hide that fact. Winning boosts confidence and improves morale. But we are a work in progress, and we have to make sure we don't emphasise too heavily on results when we have developmental targets to improve on.

"But for this game, we want to limit the number of chances they get, we want to improve on recovering the ball and our defensive organisation, and we want to improve our finishing. If we can improve those areas, we should win the game," he said.

Cuba's coach, Rufino Sotolongo, said they want to continue looking at players. "The games are important, but we are using them as practice to see some players, so we are going to make some changes. But we will analyse this game and come prepared for the second game (today)," he said.