MONTEGO BAY, St James — After coming within points of making it to the second end-of-round final in the Red Stripe Premier League, Montego Bay United’s (MBU) coach Dr Dean Weatherly says his charges must refocus if they are to make a run at the title and said failure to do that would be a major disappointment.
With two games to go in the second round, MBU were well set to claim a spot but lost their last two games to Arnett Gardens and last-placed Savannah SC, both by 1-0 margins.
Montego Bay United picked up 18 of their overall 34 points in the second round from five wins, three draws and three losses and in fourth place overall, just ahead of Boys’ Town and Cavalier on goal difference.
Weatherly said the back-to-back losses were used as a teaching tools for the players as he said they were “overanxious in the final third” after creating numerous scoring chances in both games and said he was working on finishing in training.
“Over the break we have been working on their composure in the final third as we saw over exuberance and that their rise in the tables had made them too comfortable,” Weatherly told the Jamaica Observer recently.
He said the third round, which was set to start later this week, was “crunch time”, adding “this is where we have to pull up our socks as we are now in the final push to set up a title run”.
The players, he said, were well aware of what was expected of them but said they needed to “change their culture and adopt one of never-say-die”.
There was no shortage of talent in the team, Weatherly said, pointing to their move up the ladder since he replaced Brazilian Neider dos Santos earlier in the season, but said the players must be more consistent.
Teams like Harbour View and defending champions Portmore United, Weatherly noted, were ahead of Montego Bay United in the tables only because of the inherent ability of their players to stay the course.
Weatherly said they were “almost unbeatable” midway the second round, reeling off a series of wins both at home and away and suggested the players must rediscover that spark.
They will have to move ahead without young striker Brian Brown who was a last-minute transfer to Harbour View, just beating the January 31 deadline.
However, the proven match winner Leon Irving and Mauricio Gordon, who had left the club for Portmore last season, are back along with experienced central defender Rohan Bernard. Also returning are goalkeeper Kemar Llewellyn, Aldain Grant and Ronaldo Rodney.