MBU, Harbour View chase crucial points
Former champions Harbour View had their march to the top six halted on Thursday by the relegation-mired Sandals South Coast, but coach Ricardo Gardner is hoping that it was only a temporary bump.
Today, the Stars of the East travel to Montego Bay for a rescheduled game, the only Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) game on today, to take on a team not only affected by a state of emergency but by the struggles of their team, Montego Bay United (MBU).
"It is another opportunity for us to get where we wanted to be at the end of the Sandals game," was how the former Reggae Boy standout viewed today's game against the new pride of western Jamaica's football.
"We are looking forward to this encounter. It will be tough because not only are they a good team but they have something playing for as well," said the man whose team are two points out of the top six with a game in hand.
"In the recent games we have done a fair amount of travelling. We have travelled to face Reno, we travelled to face Sandals and we are travelling again to face Montego Bay, but it is a mental part (of the game) that we have to get over, and once we do that we will be fine."
But for two defeats since the opening of the January transfer window, Harbour View have had a very fruitful run, which saw them dispose of leaders Portmore United, Reno and the impressive Cavalier. This form Gardner attributes to more experienced players such as Christopher Harvey, Sean Fraser, Evan Taylor, and others sharing their experiences on and off the field with the quality youngsters in the squad.
"It is very important because these players are experienced and they share their experience off the field as well. At the end of the day, preparation is key and they are important to that.
"The youngsters have been improving week in week out, and the level of competitiveness in training has been really high," Gardner explained.
EYES ON TOP SIX
Montego Bay United, like Harbour View, have their eyes on the top six, and with 28 points and one game in hand, they are just four points out of the top six with six games to play after today's fixture.
"The attitude in the camp now is one of determination to make it into the top six. We have had a rough start to the season. We did not get things right early but are on the path to a turnaround with coach Hankinson," club executive Sandra Christie said.
The top six is not out of Montego Bay United's reach but they will need more reliable goalscoring, as currently the injured Dino Williams bears the brunt of the goalscoring. It is hoped that the return of Owayne Gordon and the presence of Leslie St Fleur and the young Johan Weatherley will help.
"It is a lot of pressure on Dino. He is not 100 per cent but he is determined to give everything to ensure that the team gets into the top six, and overall we are very optimistic about getting the three points," Christie said.
Christie also added that the importance of the game to Harbour View is very much understood in the Montego Bay United Camp.
"We also acknowledge that Harbour View are in a tight spot as well so they will be coming with guns blazing. We, however, are confident that we have the quality to come out on top," she concluded.
- 3 p.m.: Montego Bay United vs Harbour View - Wespow Park