Bernard given the vote of confidence
Harbour View FC's Red Stripe Premier League Manager Oneal Johnson has backed head coach Ludlow Bernard, saying he believes he is still the right man for the job, despite results not going according to plan this season.
The Stars of the East had aimed at making the playoffs this season, especially as a rule change by the Premier League Clubs Association now sees six teams entering the knock out stages of the competition. However, strings of bad results all season, especially at home at the Harbour View Mini Stadium, saw the team battling relegation and trying to finish within the top six spots at the end of the third round next month.
Bernard has been criticised by fans and pundits alike for the poor form but Johnson said that the club still has full confidence in him.
"Coach Bernard puts in lots of work with the team. In fact, all the coaches put in long hours and tremendous dedication," Johnson said. "It's admirable how they push day after day and those boys (the players) work hard. They just need support - lots of it, from fans and sponsors."
Johnson told The Gleaner that achieving the team's original objective of a playoff spot at the start of the season, will take a collective effort inclusive of players, coaching staff and fans alike. He said that as long as games are still left to be played, the team will not give up on a place in the next round.
"Mathematically it's still possible," he said. "However, our destiny is out of our hands and we now have to hope teams drop lots of points. But it's still possible if fans and players do their part to help to give the club a lift."
Harbour View ended their four game losing streak with a 1-0 win over Waterhouse at the Drewsland Stadium on Sunday because of Kemar Bennett's 89th minute goal. The three points moves the team up one spot to eighth, with 30 points, 11 behind sixth placed Arnett Gardens, who currently hold the last playoff spot. Johnson is hoping the result can now spur on the club's fan base.
"I do believe if we get more support, especially at our home games, from Harbour View and surrounding communities the team will perform better," he said.
He adds that the Harbour View fans have been loyal over the years but he believes that the team could benefit from a larger regular turnout at the Harbour View Mini Stadium in order to help the team at home.