Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Hankinson back to guide struggling MBU

Published:Thursday | January 11, 2018 | 12:00 AMKavarly Arnold/Gleaner Writer
Tim Hankinson, coach of Red Stripe Premier League club Montego Bay United.

Western Bureau:

Struggling Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) club Montego Bay United (MBU) have again turned to American coach Tim Hankinson as they look to climb out of the bottom half of the 12-team league.

Hankinson replaces fellow American Roderick Underwood, who left the club last week. The veteran coach, who guided Indy 11 FC to the North America Soccer League (NASL) title, is in his second stint with MBU, after getting them through the first round of the 2015-2016 season. The St James-based club went on to win the title with Paul 'Tegat' Davis as head coach.

"I'm here to help them through the final stages of the season," Hankinson told The Gleaner yesterday. "Of course, it is a big task to make the playoffs, [but] I understand what the RSPL is all about, so, hopefully, we can make up ground quickly."

Hankinson noted that there is a lot of work to be done.

"There is work to do in all departments. First, there is our mentality, making sure that it reaches a higher level of professionalism, making sure that our hearts are all in the right place. At this time of year, when it's the transfer period, players start to look around. It's important we have everyone committed," said Hankinson, who coached MBU players Dino Williams and Owayne Gordon while they were on loan at Indy 11.

TECHNICAL WORK TO BE DONE

MBU are now eighth in the league with 25 points. They have conceded 25 goals, while scoring just 16. Hankinson believes there is some technical work to be done.

"There are a few positions that lack experience, like in the goal, but it's not just a goalkeeping issue," said Hankinson. He added that it was important that they tightened up in defence and create more chances.

"We don't have big target strikers ... . Dino Williams has quality, but he is not always 100 per cent, so we must play differently, putting quick midfielders in that can run at defences rather than targeting," he added.