Mexico – It will be a very confident Jobi McAnuff who steps on the field this evening to earn his second cap for the Reggae Boyz, almost 11 years after his first.
The 31-year-old Reading captain earned his only previous cap in 2002 in a 0-1 loss to Nigeria in a friendly international at the home of Queens Park Rangers in London and is very positive of getting a better result this time around.
“We believe in what we have, we have no fear. We will attack this game as we would any other. We have to try to win it,” said the man who like club-mate Garath McLeary.
Bristol City midfielder Marvin Elliott and Sheffield Wednesday attacker Jermaine Johnson who played no part in the earlier qualifiers, to be named in today’s starting team.
Having campaigned as a professional for over a decade in English football, McAnuff believes he is more than prepared to handle whatever the Mexicans have to offer on and off the field.
“I am very excited to get back out there and play for the Reggae Boyz after so long out. There is a very positive vibe in the camp and I am looking forward to this game.
The squad McAnuff believes is a strong and balanced one which compares favourably to the one he played in when he made his debut though he admitted he spent little time with the team on the first occasion and has had just a few days with his new teammates this time around.
“This squad has a lot of experience in it with players playing at a high level in Europe, in the USA and back home in Jamaica. It is a very good mix, a strong group,” said the man who is first cousin to former Jamaica sprinter Nicole Mitchell.
Like McAnuff, his club-mate Garath Mcleary is looking to represent well for his country.
“This is a big game for us and I am really privileged to be a part of this. This is something that will make my family proud. It is something that I have spoken to them about and something that I have always wanted to do try to help Jamaica to do well,” said the 25-year-old Reading winger.
“I have always had thoughts of playing and spoke to people like Stew Peas (Damion Stewart), Mariappa and Jobi about it, but it has never happened before,” the player added that his contribution to the team will be as a creator and goal scorer.
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