Tue | Jul 16, 2019

‘We need to keep the ball better’ – Menzies

Published:Wednesday | May 22, 2019 | 12:23 AMLivingston Scott/Gleaner Writer
Trudi Carter (left) of Jamaica rides a challenge from Katherine Castillo of Panama during a friendly international between Jamaica and Panama at the National Stadium on Sunday. Jamaica won 3-1.
Trudi Carter (left) of Jamaica rides a challenge from Katherine Castillo of Panama during a friendly international between Jamaica and Panama at the National Stadium on Sunday. Jamaica won 3-1.

Following the Reggae Girlz’s 3-1 win over Panama on Sunday at the National Stadium, head coach Hue Menzies assessed that the team needs more work on ball possession, while noting that the Jamaicans are among the best counter-attacking teams heading to the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Reggae Girlz brushed aside Panama in what was their final home game before the marquee event, but despite the comfortable win over the Concacaf Women’s Championships fourth-place finishers, Menzies admitted that his team has some work to do.

Menzies pointed out that the team’s ability to possess the ball for long periods can be improved and ball possession will be one of the focus areas as they ramp up their preparations ahead of their FIFA Women’s World Cup debut.

TEAM POSSESSION

“We have to focus on team possession, that’s what we want to do. We talked about keeping the football and working on our possession game and playing out the back, but our midfield was a little stagnant,” Menzies said.

“But we talked about defending higher up the field, so we can capitalise on some things, like the corner (the team scored the third goal from) was good. But we still need to capitalise on these opportunities. We don’t have all the players so this shows the depth that we have created,” he added.

Although the team can improve on its ball possession, Menzies noted that the team’s third goal against Panama showed how good they are on the counter-attack, and he believes they are among the best teams when it comes to hitting teams on the break.

“We get forward in numbers and we think we are the best in the world at that. We lured them (Panama) into possession and then we countered, and that’s what we talked about.”

Meanwhile, the Reggae Girlz coach revealed he’s a step closer to solidifying his final 23-member squad for the tournament. A number of players made their case for a place in the squad after creating a good impression with their performance on Sunday.

However, he also awaits the clearance of one more player from FIFA before he can finalise his 23 players ahead of tomorrow’s deadline.

“It’s been challenging (finalising the squad) but we have a good picture now,” he said. “Some players stepped up today (Sunday) to get into our 23 and I think this solidifies our 19 (outfield players),” he continued.

The Jamaicans have been drawn in Group C alongside Australia, Brazil and Italy. They get their campaign started on June 9 against Brazil in Grenoble, France.