'I have the full support of the university,' says coach Peart

By Dwayne Richards
Observer writer

Saturday, December 15, 2018

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“I have the full support of the university from my perspective,” came the battling cry from Andrew Peart, moments after his The University of West Indies (UWI) team snapped a six-game losing streak in the Red Stripe Premier League with a comprehensive 3-1 victory over the red-hot Arnett Gardens on Thursday.

The bad patch suffered by the UWI saw them slip out of the top six and they appeared to be headed into the relegation zone before a confidence-boosting win against a team who were themselves on a six-game unbeaten run.

Peart hailed the big effort from his goalkeeper George Brown who had an exam before the match. Brown produced a number of good saves to deny Arnett Gardens and help seal the win.

“It was a very good performance from us — right throughout the team, from all departments. I believe our goalkeeper George Brown did excellent. He had an exam today and then came straight from the exam to the game.”

A defiant Peart says that even though the results had not been going their way recently, it was not a reflection of just how well his boys had been playing.

“Those six games that we have lost is a story, but it doesn't sum up how good a team we are or how bad a team we are. It's just the results that we have been getting. The fighting spirit to get two more goals against Arnett Gardens, who are very attacking, a very good team and on a six-game unbeaten run themselves, is excellent from our team.”

The coach, who also coached Jamaica College in the recently concluded Manning Cup, said he did feel the pressure when his team had hit the wall in recent times.

“Of course you have the responsibility of conditioning the team and if you are losing games then you have to try and find solutions. We have been doing that [and] today it showed in terms of the result, but we have a happy bunch of players and they are willing to fight for the university,” he explained.

Peart, who is in his first year as head coach at UWI, where he played football in his days as a student, says that he began searching for answers by first asking questions of the man in the mirror.

“Of course you have to change. When you are looking for solutions the first person you have to look at is yourself, so that's important; as well as the coaching staff, the players, how we train, everything. Because you can't continue the same way if you are losing six games; you would be stupid,” he said frankly.

Importantly, the young coach is not getting carried away with the victory as the challenges are set to come thick and fast.

“This is a process. One win doesn't change everything; it's hard work. We have three more games left for the year,” he noted.

Up next for UWI is a home game against Humble Lion on Sunday and Peart is expecting Glendon “Admiral” Bailey and his men to be just as difficult to handle as Arnett Gardens were.

“It's another tough team — I guess every game is a tough game. It may sound cliché, but that is just the fact of the matter.

“We saw Humble Lion play against Arnett Gardens on Monday and they were in the game for most of the time, so it will be another tough encounter and we have to be prepared. It's a short rest time but we will have to deal with it.”

The UWI, who are in eighth position, are tied on 20 points with their next opponents, who are one place above them on goal difference.

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