Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter
With the absence of a creative midfielder in the Reggae Boyz squad for tomorrow night's all-important World Cup Qualifier against the United States (US) at the National Stadium, head coach Theodore Whitmore is hoping that the team can use the speed it possesses to its advantage.
With Keammar Daley not enjoying playing time at his club, Preston North End, and hence was not invited to the national team at this time, no creative option stands out in the 23-man squad called up for the game, which was reduced from 24 following an injury suffered by Errol Stevens.
What the team has in abundance, however, is pace, which can come from the likes of Luton Shelton, Dane Richards, Omar Cummings and Darren Mattocks.
"Every day it is the same cry about the midfield, but it is a short time we have to work," Whitmore said yesterday evening ahead of the team's training session at the National Stadium. "We are still looking, it is still a work in progress, but we are looking and we hope to solve that problem as soon as possible."
He added: "A lot of teams are awareof our speed; they know about the Luton Sheltons, the Dane Richards, so it's just we who have to use it in our best interest."
Jamaica, who moved up six places to 60th in the latest FIFA rankings released yesterday, have never defeated the 33rd-ranked US. The Americans, however, have never defeated Jamaica in a World Cup Qualifier at 'The Office', and Whitmore is looking to keep their record at the fortress intact.
"When you go into any business the boss is in charge, so that is how we got the name 'The Office'," Whitmore shared.
"We are hard to beat here, especially in my time, so we want to maintain that," he added.
Whitmore believes a victory in tomorrow's game will give the team a huge boost and will augur well in terms of confidence and unity ahead of the return matchup on September 11.
"We are confident and ready to go and we are preparing and getting ready to do the job on Friday night," Whitmore outlined.
"It would be a plus and we would welcome a victory against this US team which we haven't beaten, and I think that would make a difference in the return game," he added.
Whitmore, a hero of the successful and historic 1998 World Cup campaign, is asking that fans turn out in their colours for the game, as the team needs their support.
"The fans just have to have confidence in what we are doing and come out here and support the boys," Whitmore said.
"They are the ones that made the difference in the 1998 campaign, and we want them to make the difference in the 2014 campaign as well," he added.