MAY PEN, Clarendon — Humble Lion assistant coach Max Straw does not expect Tivoli Gardens to be pushovers when they meet today in one of two rescheduled Red Stripe Premiership game at Effortville.
In the other match-up at the Ferdie Neita Park, defending champion Portmore United host Arnett Gardens at 7:00 pm.
Tivoli earmarked this year's competition as a rebuilding campaign following last season's disappointing fifth place finish, but despite fielding a youthful squad, the West Kingston side made a promising start to the season.
They won three and drew one of their first five games, before slumping to a two-game losing streak, and Straw, a former Tivoli assistant coach, said he's not surprised.
"Tivoli are five-time National League champions so they have the DNA," he said. "They have the history and every time you take teams like those lightly you suffer.
"We don't have any DNA — just a little fourth-place finish — so we have to make sure we keep our feet on the ground and look at Tivoli as the big side nevertheless.
"They are last season's defending champions so we just have to go out there and try to rip them to shreds," added Straw, who teamed up with Lenny Hyde to win two premiership titles at Harbour View and Tivoli before joining Humble Lion two seasons ago.
Unlike Tivoli, Humble Lion had a stuttering start to their campaign after losing three of their first four games before rebounding with a three-game winning run.
They are now fifth in the 12-team table on 12 points — two more than Tivoli — and will be hoping to move farther up the standing with a victory, made even more important by their desire to improve last season's miserable home form.
"We want to set the record straight because we had some poor results at home last season," said Straw. "We are now 2-1 and Thursday we want to make it 3-1, but we are not here to look past any team, especially at this stage."