‘A time to learn’
Hallgrimsson bracing for Argentina as Boyz depart island
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz in a recent training session at the National Stadium in Kingston (Photo: Observer File)

National senior men's football team Head Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson says the Reggae Boyz must produce a solid all-round performance in their international friendly match against Argentina to rebuild the trust of the fan base ahead of the next Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign.

"For me, it is about performance because there are no points from this because it is only Fifa points if we do well," Hallgrimsson told the Jamaica Observer. "But of course, we would like to win every game, but a good performance would be good for me in this first game.

"We should and we will go into every game to win, but how likely that will be it is up to you to think about that, but this is a really strong first opponent for me."

The match will be Hallgrimsson's first in charge of the Reggae Boyz and will be played at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey, on Tuesday at 7 pm Jamaica time.

Argentina, ranked fourth in the world, are one of the favourites to win this year's Fifa World Cup tournament, which will be held in Qatar in November. Waterhouse's Ricardo Thomas has replaced the injured Greg Leigh in the squad for the game.

Hallgrimsson said that he will be closely monitoring performances as this will allow his coaching staff to get to know the team's strengthens and weaknesses.

"This game for me is to observe and learn and try to put my emphasis on the squad," he said. "I am a little bit excited to see just how things go and work. To play against Fifa's number four is going to be a good contest and at least we know where we stand, what we need to improve on."

Hallgrimsson says that if he had his way, the Reggae Boyz would have had different opponents in his first game in charge.

But he says that this is an excellent platform for the players to showcase their talents against some of the best players in the world.

"Let's put it this way, if I would have chosen myself to play an opponent, I wouldn't have chosen Argentina, to put it mildly," he said.

"Just to see the players in this environment, for me it is a time to learn, a time to observe, and a time to evaluate, and then after this game we can see what we need to change, if we need to change anything.

"What we can use, what is working well, and what is not working well, so this is like learning for us as the coaching staff."

Hallgrimsson, Assistant Coach John Wall and the local-based contingent of the squad delegation departed the island yesterday.

National senior men's football team Head Coach Heimir Hallgrimsson (centre) shares a joke with team Manager Roy Simpson (right) and player Maliek Howell before their departure from the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston yesterday ahead of their international friendly match against Argentina in New Jersey on Tuesday. (Photo: Naphtali Junior)
ROBERT BAILEY Observer Writer

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