Humble Lion take aim at TG
Coach of Humble Lion Merron Gordon is fully aware that his team must win their next Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) fixture against Tivoli Gardens on Sunday in order to stay in contention for a top-six qualification spot.
Humble Lion finds themselves in eighth position tied on 39 points alongside the University of the West Indies and FC Reno. However, with three rounds remaining in the preliminary stage, the Clarendon-based outfit are behind already-qualified Portmore, who are on 62 points, Arnett Gardens (48), Tivoli Gardens (46), Cavalier (44), Waterhouse (44), Harbour View (42), and Montego Bay United (41) in the intense battle.
"It is definitely a must-win game for us this Sunday against Tivoli, based on where we are in the table. The teams that are fighting for top six playoff spots will be playing against each other," Gordon, who replaced Lennie Hyde last November as head coach, told The Gleaner during the RSPL weekly press conference at the Jamaica Football Federation headquarters yesterday.
"Portmore and Arnett are playing each other on Monday while Portmore are safe, Arnett are almost there. Boys' Town and Sandals are out. All the other teams are fighting for top six," he pointed out.
"Our chances are good as any. The last time we played Tivoli, we won 1-0, so that serves as a boost for us. However, that is history, but we have to just build on the current form. And, hopefully, we can come away with full points," Gordon added.
Humble Lion are on a roll, having won their last fixtures against Harbour View, Cavalier, and Sandals South Coast. Captain Andrew Vanzie and prolific striker Craig Foster have done the bulk of the scoring in those games.
Foster is on 15 goals in the race for the Golden Boot, and Vanzie's tally is six goals as the club's top scorer, so far. However, Foster, who transferred from Reno during the transfer window in January arrived on 10 goals, and after a struggle, scored five for his new club.
"Andrew Vanzie is a quality holding midfielder who is 28 years old and has been in the league for quite awhile. He has played for 10 years and also represented Jamaica at the international level," Gordon said about the former Portmore United player.
"When I came here (Humble Lion), his confidence level was down after a terrible season last year in which he did not play a lot of games. But my duty is to motivate a player like that and bring him back to the basics. He is now doing better as a leader of the team," the coach added.
"Craig is scoring but missing some simple chances. He is a lucky lad, but all top goalscorers are lucky. He is working, but we would like some more work from him off the ball, especially when we are defending," Gordon said about Foster, who is also key to their ambitions of winning a first national title.
"We want him to help us in the pressing part of the game. Coming from a different system, he might not have done enough work defensively," he also said.