KANSAS CITY, Missouri:
DESPITE their future hanging by a thread in CONCACAF senior men's World Cup Qualifying, Jamaica's influential left-sided midfielder/defender, Demar Phillips, says they must maintain a positive outlook.
With only a play-off spot available for Jamaica and eight of 10 matches gone in the Hexagonal eliminations, Phillips, who after a long injury layoff rejoined the squad for Friday's match against the United States, says the Reggae Boyz must remain hopeful.
"We've to think positive," said the 30-year-old after a light team training session over 30 minutes at the Johnson County Community College yesterday morning.
"We're a team and we've to stick together as a team. I know it's a thin chance, but we've to do our job and hope for the best in the Mexico-Panama game. We've to do our job; we've to go out there and win our two games," he observed.
Phillips has not played for Jamaica since March when they tackled Costa Rica in San José and lost 2-0.
"It's my first day back with the team and we're in good spirits at the moment," he said.
"We just have to focus on Friday. We can't focus on two games at the same time. We've to think about Friday and then think about the next game," he analysed. "I hope we get a good result in that game, we have to win so we just have to go out there and do what we have to do."
Since returning to action with his Norwegian team, Aalesunds FK, Phillips admits feeling a bit of discomfort, but says it doesn't affect his performance.
"It was a medial collateral ligament (mcl) injury in the knee," he said. "I had stretched the mcl and it took like five to six weeks before I started playing any football. At the moment it's good. I still have a slight pain, but nothing much that will keep me out of the game.
"I'm fit and ready to go," he asserted.
- Audley Boyd