Sun | May 26, 2019

'We can beat Tivoli' - Cavalier aiming to get TG monkey off their back

Published:Saturday | March 31, 2018 | 12:00 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Tivoli Gardens' Romaine Brakenridge (left) and Omar Walcott of Cavalier battle for possession of the ball during their Red Stripe Premier League football match at Stadium East earlier this season.

If Cavalier have a bogey team in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), it's Tivoli Gardens FC.

Both teams will renew their rivalry in tomorrow's RSPL playoff quarter-finals first leg at 6 p.m. at the Anthony Spaulding Sports Complex.

The west Kingston side hammered the final nail in Cavalier's coffin, condemning them to parish football two seasons ago, and coach Rudolph Speid also pointed out that in 10 matches over the last three seasons, they are yet to score a win against the Omar Edwards-coached team.

But he believes his team has the quality to beat any team in the league and break this TG jinx.

"Over the last 10 games, they (Tivoli) have won six and four were drawn. So we haven't beaten them in 10 games, coming from three seasons ago.

"But when we look at the opponents we have played and look at their (Tivoli) results against the same opposition, we have actually done better than them against the same opponents. So that is confirming that we can compete and I don't think the players believe they are underdogs," Speid said.

"We know the team is small and that is why we rely on movement and keeping possession. We are one of the better passing teams and we will just play to our strength. We belong here and the players believe they can compete," he stated.

Cavalier's offensive thrust will depend on his attacking quintet of Chevone Marsh, Alex Marshall, Nicholas Hamilton, Paul Wilson and Kaheem Parris. However, he says their intention is to be strong defensively and control all aspect of the game come tomorrow.

"Most of our games we always get on the score sheet. We are a team that scores against everybody, It's really how well we can defend. The attacking quintet will score against any team. But it's important to come with your overall, 'A' game and that is what we want to make sure we come with (tomorrow).

"We know our team will improve as the season goes on and we hope to continue making the necessary improvements. In the latter part of the season, we were plagued by injuries and we are just coming back to full strength.

"But this is the play-offs and Tivoli is a traditional team, but we will be ready. The plan is not just to keep them at bay, but control all aspects of the game and we believe if we really work hard, Tivoli will be no match for us," he said.