Burrell urges fans to be patient
A paltry showing by the Reggae Boyz yesterday evening induced boos from the modest gathering inside the National Stadium as the team suffered a 1-0 defeat against Panama.
President of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF), Captain Horace Burrell, is craving the patience of the local supporters ahead of the CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying (WCQ) semi-final, which kick-offs on June 8 when the Boyz tackle Guatemala in the opening match of the group, which is completed by Antigua and Barbuda and the United States.
"I believe the crowd that was here today is very supportive of the Reggae Boyz and though I am a bit disappointed, you have to realise that the fans too were frustrated and obviously were overcome by emotions," Burrell shared with The Gleaner.
Asking for lenience
"You can't beat up the crowd for that, we would have to ask them to be a little bit more patient. It is early days, we haven't begun the campaign as yet and it is still a work in progress and work begins the eighth of June, so I am personally asking the public to give the players and the coaching staff a little bit more time and I am sure they will get it right," he added.
This was the team's first defeat at the National Stadium since 2007 and the first at any venue since this year, having registered four wins and a draw; 1-0 and 4-0 triumphs over Cuba in a two-game series, a 3-2 away win in New Zealand, a goalless draw with Costa Rica and the most recent a 1-0 win over Guyana.
"Naturally, I am very disappointed in that we lost the game and having listened to the comments, it is clear that the management felt the same way that they did not perform to their optimum and going forward, certainly, we will see a better effort," Burrell expressed.
However, he believes with a little bit of luck, the result could have been a bit different, as the team hit the post on two occasions through strikes from Ricardo Fuller and Chris Humphrey.
"Seeing the number of shots which hit on to the goalpost, the score could have been at least 3-1 with a little bit of luck," Burrell reasoned. "But having said that, playing at home, one has to be able to win the games.
"But I'm heartened by the fact that the coaches recognise that they did not do well today and they will need to improve. So I am prepared to continue to support the coaching staff, give them all the necessary support that they need to continue to try and do their best," he added.
Burrell shied away from commenting on the performance of the coaching staff to date, as he believes they need a bit more time.
"The coaches are aware of things they have to do in order to enhance their chances going forward and I am prepared to leave that to the coaches and not make any comments," he said.