Coaches rally Girlz ahead of third-place play-off

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

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Dallas, USA — Having accepted their fate against the United States, Jamaica's senior Reggae Girlz coaching staff quickly went back to the drawing board, as they plot the way forward to a historic World Cup qualification which is still very much in sight.

Head Coach Hue Menzies and his assistants Lorne Donaldson and Andrew Price rallied their troops yesterday with a very lively early morning session at Highland Park High school, situated a few miles away from the team's hotel.

The one-hour session, which was based mostly around recovery, had to be done indoors due to the wintry conditions here in Dallas.

Jamaica's first of three shots at qualification to the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup in France ended in a 0-6 defeat to the defending world champions in the Concacaf Women's Championships semi-final on Sunday.

But Donaldson pointed out that the focus has been fully shifted to the third-place clash against Panama, where they will be aiming to confirm their spot as the first Caribbean team to qualify for the showpiece event.

However, the fourth-place team will also have another shot at qualifying, by virtue of a home-and-away play-off against Argentina in November.

“We came here for one win out of two and we are going for that on Wednesday. I like our matchup against Panama; I like our match up on the outside, and I think we can exploit their weakness and I think we have the players to do it. So obviously we are looking to that game and I think we are going to be ready,” Donaldson told the Jamaica Observer.

“You can see that there is some enthusiasm right there from the girls who worked out with me and played a little bit with the finishing at the end of the session. The reason why I did that was just to introduce that to tomorrow's (today's) session to give the girls a feel of what we are trying to do in certain areas of the field,” he added.

Despite taking some positives from their second-half showing against the United States, Donaldson, in a post-session speech, urged the girls to switch focus to the game ahead where they will be required to execute efficiently.

“The US game was a good build-up for us, because they were a lot more rested and they were literally playing two different line-ups because they are the best team in the world and they have the best players in the world, so that was always going to be hard to compete with,” he reasoned.

“So yes, we take positives from the second half when we came back out and we put our passes together and we looked like ourselves. But we can't hold on to that because this is a different opponent and the challenge is going to be different.

“So whatever we take from it we have to let it go and we have to make sure that when we come out we are more disciplined and can execute,” the tactician ended.

— Sherdon Cowan

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