Sat | Dec 14, 2019

Boyz settled and ready says Simpson

Published:Friday | November 15, 2019 | 12:46 AMDaniel Wheeler/Gleaner Writer
Simpson
Simpson

National senior men’s football team manager Roy Simpson says that the players are focused and ready to secure League A promotion when they take on Antigua and Barbuda in their Concacaf Nations League match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua today at 7 p.m.

Simpson said that the inconvenience caused by hotel arrangements earlier this week has not affected the team’s mindset or preparations ahead of the match.

“I don’t think that it affected the team because what we did, we tried to get the situation resolved as quickly as possible, which was done,” Simpson told The Gleaner yesterday. “I think that allowed the players and everyone to settle in and continue to pursue what we are here to get done.”

The team arrived at the Starfish Halcyon Cove Hotel on Monday evening, but the rooms booked for them were not up to standard. Reports were that the rooms had unkempt bathrooms and were infested with mosquitoes. As a result, the technical staff cancelled Tuesday morning’s training session, reportedly due to lack of rest. The team was relocated to the Verandah Resort and Spa, and Simpson said that they recouped the time lost with an afternoon session that day after moving to their new base. They have since then resumed their scheduled training sessions without further setbacks. He said that the technical team is pleased with the performance in training and is confident that they will get the job done.

“Based on the observations from my angle and coming out of the meeting with the technical staff, they are satisfied that the players have been doing well in training,” he said. “Everyone is ready and we want to go to get the three points and score more goals against Antigua.”

Winning streak

Jamaica beat Antigua and Barbuda 6-0 at the Montego Bay Sports Complex on September 6 and have since been on a four-match winning streak in Group C of League B. One of the goalscorers that day, Bobby Reid, returned to the squad after missing the last set of group games due to injury, and Simpson says that he foresees no setbacks that will prevent the Fulham forward from featuring.

“The doctor didn’t give us any report of any player having any form of injury that would have sidelined them for the game,” Simpson said. “So I think Bobby is ready, fit to play, and based on what I saw yesterday morning, I would not be surprised if he starts.”

Jamaica sit atop the group with 12 points and require only one point to ensure promotion to League A as well as automatic qualification to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. The fixture is also critical to maintain the country’s top-six position in the region, which will ensure passage to the FIFA World Cup Qualifying final round, to begin next year.