Whitmore wants improved performance
Jamaica senior men's football team head coach Theodore Whitmore has said that despite the 2-0 win over CuraÁao in the opening game of the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday, the team's system of passing needs improvement.
Whitmore made six changes to the squad that lost the CFU Caribbean Cup final to CuraÁao two weeks ago, with the addition of players based in the United States. The win was sealed with goals from Romario Williams in the 58th minute and Darren Mattocks in the 73rd. However, Whitmore said that the team could have given a better showing of itself.
"I think it wasn't a good performance," he said. "The performance wasn't 100 per cent. We were a bit too slow in moving the ball around and in the connection in the midfield. In the second half the two goals came from the Curacao defenders chasing. We tend to want to keep the football, but keep the football in the wrong areas of the field. I think they kept their shape and they were solid, but the areas I wasn't pleased with were the individual areas going forward."
Whitmore said that there will "definitely" be changes on Thursday when the team plays Mexico in Denver, Colorado.
"We have 23 players, and we have to approach each game differently," he said. "Obviously, we have to make some adjustments, not only because we won the CuraÁao game, but we intend to play the Mexicans a certain way, and it's going to require certain personnel going into that game."
Meanwhile, Mattocks said that the win improved team morale, as the Reggae Boyz prepare for Mexico.
"It's a pretty good confidence booster coming up against a very young Mexican team, but I know their coach is gonna have them well prepared," he said. "It's always tough to play against the Mexicans. We're definitely not going to take it for granted."
The 26-year-old also reflected on the quality of both goals scored.
"It was a very good first goal by Romario (Williams), but as soon as I came in the game, the entire dynamic of the game changed. It was open for much more chances. It was actually a great combination from Jermaine (Taylor), with a long ball over the top, a one-two with Kemar (Lawrence) and Oneil (Fisher). I think Kemar did a really good job of picking me out, and from there, the ball would be in the back of the net," Mattocks said.
It was Mattocks' first appearance for Jamaica since he scored in the 2015 final of the competition when the team lost 3-1 to Mexico.
The Jamaicans are second in Group C, on three points. Mexico, who also have three points, top the table on goal difference following their 3-1 win over El Salvador.