Sport

‘We were dominant’

Schaefer happy Boyz worked hard against St Lucia

SANJAY MYERS

Friday, March 07, 2014    

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HEWANORRA, St Lucia — National head coach Winfried Schaefer believes Jamaica showed an improved tactical understanding during the friendly international victory over St Lucia at the Beausejour Ground on Ash Wednesday.

The Reggae Boyz, who beat hosts Barbados 2-0 a few days earlier, were fortified for the St Lucian test by the addition of English-based players Westley Morgan, Adrian Mariappa, Rodolph Austin and Garath McCleary.

All four started the game and McCleary (35th minute) hit one of the goals as St Lucia were hammered 5-0. Darren Mattocks (18th and 69th) struck twice, while 17-year-old sensation Michael Seaton (16th) and substitute Deshorn Brown (82nd) also found the net.

Schaefer said scoring seven goals and conceding none in the two-match tour is "a first step" towards the goal of regaining regional dominance after the massive flop in the previous Caribbean Championship.

"I've been speaking for weeks that I want to build a new team, a team that works hard for Jamaica. The performance was good and the field was very good. Most countries, when they play against Jamaica they give more than 100 per cent. But we played a very good pressing game and we won many balls against St Lucia. We did not give this team many shots (on our goal)," he told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday.

He added that he wants Jamaica to play a patient, possession-based brand of football, inclusive of mostly short passes, while pressuring opponents when not in possession.

While the addition of the four from England brought quality and experience, the German said an extra training session after the opening game of the Caribbean tour and a far superior surface at the Beausejour venue made execution of those tactics less difficult.

"The spirit was very good (and)... we saw not only the local players, (but) we saw Wes Morgan, Mariappa, Austin and McCleary.

"We were dominant and we showed presence. And even in Barbados, if we had the same field maybe we would have played at the same level," Schaefer said.

The local-based players will return to Jamaica via Miami today, while the ones plying their trade on overseas soil are expected to return to their respective clubs.

The Reggae Boyz's next scheduled friendly game is against European outfit Serbia on May 26.

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