Austin calls for 'killer instinct'
FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida:
BOTTOM of the pile with half its 10 games remaining, Jamaica's senior men's football team needs to turn on its killer instinct to transform its path towards Brazil in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
This is the view of hard-working midfielder, Rodolph Austin.
"We just have to go out there with a nothing-to-lose mentality because our backs are against the wall," Austin said, following a team training session in Fort Lauderdale yesterday.
The Jamaicans are preparing for their third match in eight days, following back-to-back home losses to Mexico (1-0) and the United States (2-1) at Kingston's National Stadium last week.
TOO MANY MISTAKES
"This game in Honduras is very important. In all the games that we've played already, we were making too many mistakes, giving away some easy goals and stuff, so we just have to work on that as a team and individuals. We just have to play the best we can in our positions and help to lift our game," Austin challenged his teammates.
"We just have to go there with a killer mentality. Our backs are against the wall and everyone has to realise that, and we've to be on the same page and know that definitely, this is winning time now, because we can qualify and we've all the players to qualify, there's no doubt about that."
Jamaica have two points, while Honduras have four. Costa Rica, the United States and Mexico are tied at the top on seven, while Panama have six. The top three automatically qualify for next year's World Cup Finals in Brazil, while fourth plays Oceania champions New Zealand for another spot.
"No game in the group is easy, and going to Honduras - I've been there before and I know the atmosphere - it's not going to be easy. We just have to stay focused and know what we're going there for.
"We've to leave with something. We can't leave without any point, so that is the most important thing, we all have to be ready from whistle one up to the 90th minute or 93 or 95, or whatever," he stated.
At yesterday's training, the Jamaicans' first since Friday night's loss to the US, Austin wasn't just talking the talk. He kept his teammates honest with match-like rough tackles in a high-intensity workout.
"Being on the pitch, you could see where if we'd given 10 more per cent or just focus some more and just work harder as a team, we could've won," he observed. "All the games we've played, we're not being outplayed, we're just not putting away our goals.
"We didn't take our chances at home of winning the three games that we played. We have no choice now; if we're going to qualify, we've to do it in these last games. It's just for us to go out there and do our best," said Austin.