KANSAS CITY, Kansas — Reading FC captain Joel 'Jobi' McAnuff believes that a set of unfortunate factors have led to Jamaica being in the fragile position they have found themselves in the Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign.
The midfielder, who has six caps for the Jamaica national team, said insufficient time to build team chemistry and shortage of goals have been the main culprits. Still, he believes under the circumstances, the team has been very competitive in the hexagonal play-offs.
"I think we should have done better than we have in the games we have played... I don't think the points reflect the performances, we now have to just get the results that we need from the last couple of games and see where that takes us," said McAnuff.
"We have always been very competitive in pretty much every game in the campaign, and I guess it's just those small margins why we are where we are, so it's just up to us to just step out there and get a result," he added.
Jamaica currently lie at the bottom of the six-nation play-offs with only four points, and will this evening tackle Brazil-bound USA at Sporting Park in mid-western America for three points that will give the Reggae Boyz oxygen in a dying campaign.
McAnuff argued that the other teams in the CONCACAF qualifiers have an edge over Jamaica because they had the benefit of playing more games together, especially with their high-quality warm-up in the recent Gold Cup, which the USA opponent won.
"For me, I think it was the organisation and lack of time we have had together as a team. When you look at the other teams in this section like Panama, they played in the Gold Cup together and have been together for a long time, and the organisation and the cohesion that come with them, I think that is what has made the difference with us (and them)," McAnuff said after Wednesday's training session at the Johnson County Community College.
Still, the 31-year-old thinks that Jamaica's offensive play has been positive, but rued that killer instinct is necessary to get the game's most precious commodity — goals.
"We have been solid going forward, but that little spark to create the chances and score the goals (has been lacking)... obviously we have not scored enough goals and you know that's the hardest thing to do in football, and I think from my experience, that's where we have fallen a bit short.
"But coming together as we have done coming from all over the place has limited us, but we have given all that we got," McAnuff ended.
Despite being born in London, he became eligible to play for Jamaica courtesy of his father, who was born on the island. He made his debut for the Boyz back in May 2002, although his next appearance did not come until nearly eleven years later — in February this year.