Local coaches give Hall passing grade in first match
Former Waterhouse and Tivoli Gardens coach Calvert Fitzgerald and Paul ‘Tegat’ Davis, the Arnett Gardens head coach, both believe that new coach Paul Hall laid a good foundation in his first game against Peru on Thursday night despite losing 3-0.
But while the performance gives Fitzgerald a lot of optimism going into next Thursday’s crucial Concacaf World Cup qualifier against Mexico, Davis is a lot more cautious about the qualifiers.
“It was an excellent first half and it was good to see the team playing higher up the pitch,” Fitzgerald said.
“We played about 20 yards higher up the field and we pressed or counter pressed. We played a lot of passes and were much braver passing the ball. We didn’t play as direct as under the previous coach,” he pointed out.
“We didn’t have much cutting edge up front but the system itself looks good and for the first half, we matched Peru’s intensity.
“In the second half because Je-Vaughn Watson could not handle the pace, others had to compensate and do the running for him in midfield and that drained the players in the middle of the park,” Fitzgerald added.
Davis holds similar sentiments and said it is a good start for Hall to build on.
“I was pleased with the first half. If we can build on that, it will be good. We kept the ball and made some nice passes to get behind the Peru defence but we didn’t shoot very much,” he assessed.
“In the second half they lost energy but we can build on what we did in the first half,” he added
OPTIMISTIC GOING INTO GAME
However, with the first team players they will have available for their World Cup qualifier on Thursday, Fitzgerald is very optimistic going into the Mexico game.
“A lot of the players (Peru game) are not in competition right now, so there is a lack of fitness. Most of these players will not be in the team for Thursday. Those coming in are in season, they will have better match sharpness and fitness and if they can perform as well as Thursday’s team played for the first 45 minutes, we have a very good chance of beating Mexico,” he said.
However, Davis’ expectations were a bit lower.
“I don’t know (how they will perform) because you are going to bring in the experienced players and not play the guys who played Thursday night but if the overseas players can play that way, then anything is possible,” he said.
Fitzgerald said Richard King, Lamar Walker and Javain Brown made a good case for selection to the World Cup qualifying squad while Davis thought Walker, Peter Lee Vassell, Deshane Beckford and Jourdain Fletcher made good cases for themselves.
After going in 0-0 at the half-time break, the Reggae Boyz conceded three second-half goals to the South Americans.