Sports

Jamaica, we are sorry!

Boyz Manager Simpson apologises for lacklustre performance against El Salvador

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

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SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — Reggae Boyz Team Manager Roy Simpson has issued an apology to the people of Jamaica for the team's failure to qualify for the new Concacaf Nations League elite Group A.

And, like Jamaica Football Federation President Mike Ricketts and the various stakeholders, he, too, was disappointed with last Saturday's lacklustre performance in the 0-2 loss to El Salvador. However, as a part of his own character trait, he wants to take any positive that can emerge from this reality.

“First, I want to apologise to the people of Jamaica, because we always play football for the people of Jamaica,” was Simpson's first response to the Jamaica Observer.

“We had promised that we would have gone down to El Salvador and get a positive result, but that wasn't the case. We are not making any excuses and luckily we are still in the Gold Cup, but we wanted to be in League A because, as said previously, League A is where you want to be because that's where the bigger teams are, better games home and away, good exposure for our players.”

He added: “However, I tend to look at things in a positive way and I believe that we being in a lower league, it is now going to demand from our players a more consistent efficiency on the pitch and for them to now understand that you don't take things for granted.

“Everybody was told what the format of the Nations League was; everybody knew what we needed to do. And as a matter of fact, in previous games I always reminded the players that we needed to score goals and if you look at Curacao, they ended on nine points but scored 22 goals, so you always try to let the players understand. And I am not saying that they did not understand, but I think we never showed the kind of tenacity, the kind of competitiveness, the kind of energy that would propel us into League A.”

Jamaica ended the qualifiers in eighth place behind Haiti, Canada and Martinique, who ended their four matches on maximum 12 points; followed by Curacao (plus 20), Bermuda (plus 13), Cuba (plus 13), Guyana (plus 11), Jamaica (plus 9), Nicaragua (plus 7) and El Salvador (plus 5), all on nine points.

The top six teams qualified for League A, where they will be joined by Mexico, United States of America, Costa Rica, Honduras, Trinidad and Tobago and Panama, who had contested the final round (Hexagonal) of 2018 Concacaf World Cup qualifying.

However, the top 10 teams qualified for the Concacaf Gold Cup to again join those from the Hexagonal.

Oftentimes out of bad comes some good and Simpson, the veteran team manager who guided the Boyz to back-to-back Gold Cup final appearances in 2015 and 2017, believes that latest setback could be deemed as an opportunity for local talent to rise and come to the fore.

“I think we were too pedestrian in our approach and again we have to understand that there are no real secrets in terms of football now. Everybody knows everybody and everybody has the software that they can do their analyses. We are in the information age so nothing hides, and players must understand that.

“But you look at this and you are disappointed that you are not in League A and I look at it as a big opportunity even for local players for them now to get involved — and not saying that if we were in League A they would not have been involved, but the fact that we are in a lower league that will probably afford us the chance to expose and blood even more local players.

“I think it is a chance to rebuild and to understand that if we are serious about another World Cup qualification it must be an attitude of every game is a final, and every game we must take the pitch with a certain amount of energy and a certain power to get the kind of results we want,” he concluded.


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