Robert Bailey, Gleaner Writer
Former national football coach and analyst Geoffrey Maxwell wants the Reggae Boyz to take an attacking approach when they face Panama in tonight's CONCACAF World Cup Qualifier at the National Stadium.
Maxwell, the current coach of Red Stripe Premier League team Humble Lion, said the Jamaican team is very talented and, as such, he expects them to come out victorious against the Panamanians.
"I think we should go at them in the first 20 minutes and try and score a goal or two and this will enable us to unsettle them," said Maxwell. "We also have to approach the game with a high level of confidence because Jamaica have too much talent in this team to lose to a team like Panama," he said.
The veteran coach added: "We must win the game, and if we can't get the win, then we must get a point from it. The squad seems to be a good selection and so it's a matter of putting the right players in the right places and taking the right approach to the game because I don't see any reason why we can't beat Panama."
CAN'T TAKE OPPONENTS LIGHTLY
Football analyst and general manager of Harbour View football club, Clyde Jureidini, agrees with Maxwell, but warned that the Reggae Boyz must not take the Panamanians lightly.
"I think we should take a positive approach with an assertive posture, in terms starting out the game and getting some early goals in the first 30-35 minutes," said Jureidini.
"We are at home and, as such, we should be very positive, while at the same time adopting a very disciplined defensive team approach like we saw in the last game in Mexico," he said.
Continuing, Jureidini said: "The Panama team has beaten us regularly, and recently and they have done so from dead-ball kicks and so we have to keep a very tight defensive posture."
Bradley Stewart, a former national assistant coach to current head coach Theodore Whitmore, believes that the Reggae Boyz should take an assertive approach into today's encounter.
"I would like us to take an aggressive approach against Panama and try and score some goals very early in the game," said Stewart.
"We have quality players in this team that can beat any team in CONCACAF because we have a number players who are playing in the English Premier League, and I am sure the rest of the players in the team will benefit from their experience," he said.