Work still to be done - Whitmore
National senior men's football team head coach Theodore Whitmore has said that despite his satisfaction with the team's 0-0 draw with Mexico in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Thursday night in Denver Colorado, there is still work to be done to improve.
The Reggae Boyz put on a very defensive, but organised display, and Whitmore said that although that was not the original intention, he credits his team for how it adapted to the situation in the game and kept its shape defensively.
"That's how the game developed," Whitmore said. "At times, we caught out the Mexicans. At times, (Oneil) Fisher made runs behind the defenders. (Darren) Mattocks made runs, but again we failed to execute that pass, and as I said, it's game by game. We didn't have enough time to work on things we wanted to do or what we wanted to achieve, but again, we are very pleased with the draw."
Following Sunday's 2-0 win over CuraÁao, Whitmore had said that the team had issues transitioning from defence to attack. Those feelings have not changed, as he said he still saw those problems against Mexico.
"I think it was a very tactical, disciplined performance. We knew what the Mexicans had to offer. I think we didn't give them enough room and space to hurt us, and we know they were gonna go down the flanks and they were gonna cross, but we took that out of their game. We didn't create just as they did. They had a lot of ball possession but they didn't create anything in front of our goal. We still need to work on our transition. I think going forward, when we catch teams on the break, we tend to go back instead of pass. There's a lot we can take from this game, but we still have room for improvement.
Whitmore said that his team has gotten the better of both teams they have faced so far in the Gold Cup, after losing the Caribbean Cup final 2-1 to Curacao last month and the Gold Cup final 3-1 to Mexico in 2015.
"I think we have put the Caribbean Cup behind us, knowing the fact that we want to retain our title, but despite not retaining the title and now that we are in the Gold Cup 2015, I think that augers well," he said. "We have lost to CuraÁao in a final, we have lost to Mexico in a final, now we play them back to back - Curacao and the Mexicans and I think we got the better of them."
The Reggae Boyz now move to four points, the same as Mexico, but are second on goal difference. They will meet El Salvador at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. Jamaica time.
Team P W DL F A GD Pts
1 Mexico 2 1 1 0 3 1 +2 4
2 Jamaica 2 1 1 0 2 0 +2 4
3 El Salvador 2 1 0 1 0 4 0 3