Sat | Oct 19, 2019

Boyz moving in the right direction – Lowe

Published:Sunday | July 7, 2019 | 12:34 AMRobert Bailey - Sunday Gleaner Writer

Panama’s Gabriel Torres (left) and Jamaica’s Damion Lowe battle for the ball during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup match, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Philadelphia. Jamaica won 1-0.
Panama’s Gabriel Torres (left) and Jamaica’s Damion Lowe battle for the ball during the first half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup match, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Philadelphia. Jamaica won 1-0.

Jamaican defender Damion Lowe says the Reggae Boyz believe in head coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whitmore’s coaching methods and is very confident that they will do well in the upcoming Concacaf Nations League and World Cup qualifiers.

The Reggae Boyz were eliminated from the Concacaf Gold Cup tournament on Wednesday after losing 3-1 to hosts United States in the semi-finals, missing out on a third straight appearance in the final.

Whitmore, who led the team to the final in 2017 when they lost to the USA, was heavily criticised throughout the competition for what was seen in some quarters as the team’s listless and tactics-deficient play.

NO DOUBTS

However, Lowe, who missed Wednesday’s semi-final due to a one-match suspension, said the Reggae Boyz have a lot of faith in their coach and have no doubts that he will lead them to their main objective of World Cup qualification.

“We believe in the coach, and we have good footballers, and we are trying to play because we bring different styles in different games and different situations, and that is good for the versatility of the team,” said Lowe, son of former Reggae Boyz standout Onandi.

“There were a lot of inexperienced guys on the team, and this tournament was the next step for them to gain that experience going into the World Cup qualification,” he added.

Lowe pointed out that they were all very disappointed after losing to the USA in the semis but that there are a lot of positives coming out of the tournament for the Reggae Boyz.

“I think that we are disappointed with the result, but I believe with what we have done and the work that we have put in, we are progressing in the right direction,” said Lowe.

“It is a young crop of guys with an average age of 24, and so it is good, and now we have to forget about this because we have the World Cup qualifiers and the Nations League coming up, and so that is the focus right now,” he said.

The 26-year-old Lowe, who plies his trade in the Norwegian league with IK Start, was forced to missed the Reggae Boyz crucial semi-final after picking up his second yellow card in back-to-back matches, including a time-wasting offence against Panama.

HARSH DECISION

He maintains that the referee was harsh in his judgment in giving him a card in that situation and acknowledged that the team would have benefitted from his presence in the USA game.

“A lot of people are saying it is stupid, but when you are in the game, a lot of things are going on,” said Lowe. “I don’t know what exactly happened because I wasn’t wasting time.”

“I was over the ball for five seconds, and the referee gave me a yellow card and a substitution was also being made on the sidelines, and so how can a player get a card while a substitution is being made? There are a lot of variables about it, but it is football, and a lot of things can happen, and so I just have to accept and move on,” Lowe stated.