Boyz have a lot of work to do - Whitmore
Reggae Boyz head coach Theodore Whitmore said that the team's 2-1 defeat to Super League side Rivoli at Prison Oval on Wednesday was largely due to an intense workout in their morning training session earlier that day but believes that the team still has a lot of work to do ahead of upcoming international assignments.
However, Whitmore was quick to point out that there could be no excuse for the defeat and underlined his demand for the players to be more professional and mentally tougher.
"We did a good session this morning (Wednesday) and the intensity was high, so we had to balance the team to play the game. It was really hard (for players), but what we are looking for is the mental toughness of these players and how they adjust themselves in situations like these on the pitch so we can know who we are working with going forward," he said.
Although disappointed with the defeat, he thought the game was good preparation for the players.
"Over the years, playing against Rivoli is a hard, physical game and we knew that, so these players have to understand when they go away to other countries like Honduras, this is the type of game that is expected, so it's good preparation going forward," he said.
"But we are not training to play against Rivoli. We train to play against Peru and the Caribbean countries, and playing against local teams is always tough because they all come out to prove. And even in the 50/50 challenges, we were very cautious because no one wants to get injured. So as much as the result matters and there is no excuse, there are other areas of the game that we want to work on and we are focusing on," Whitmore said.
Nicholas Nelson netted both Rivoli goals, capitalising on poorly headed back passes from Jermaine 'Teddy' Johnson and Rosario Harriott, respectively, and Whitmore believes that changing the general mindset of the players will be the key going forward.
"We gave up two silly goals, which is unacceptable at this level. It shouldn't matter who we are playing, this is the national team, but this is football and the more these players play, the more they will understand. So what we are trying to change is their whole approach, their whole attitude. We are not talking about Premier League or Super League or Major League attitude, we are talking about international behaviour and that is why we are here, so we still have a lot of work to do," he said.