Cavalier ready for Port of Spain test
Cavalier's Shaniel Thomas (left) will be hoping to make it two goals in two games when they face Port of Spain in their Concacaf Caribbean Cup Group A game at Sabina Park on Thursday afternoon. (Photo: Karl McLarty)

Cavalier Coach David Laylor says they will be more focused on their game than opponents Port of Spain when the teams meet in the Concacaf Caribbean Cup today, starting at 5:06 pm.

The teams meet at Sabina Park in Kingston still looking for their first win in the tournament with Cavalier on a point after a 1-1 draw with Defence Force of Trinidad and Tobago last week. Port of Spain, another Trinidadian team, lost their opener 1-0 to Moca FC of the Dominican Republic.

Laylor says that while there may be similarities between Port of Spain and the previous opponents, that does not matter much as long as they stick to their game plan.

"In playing another Trinidadian side, Cavalier will prepare as best as possible," Laylor said in a pre-game press conference on Wednesday afternoon. "It's really about how we play and not necessarily how the opponent plays. Whatever they do, we have to make the adjustments. So, we just continue to play how we normally play and whenever there's an adjustment, with any team, then we make it."

Laylor says although the previous game was a draw, the approach there was to win, despite being away from home. Now, returning to Jamaica, it will be the same expectation, especially as they will be playing in front of their own fans.

"We didn't go on the road just to get one point, we went to win the game," he said. "Cavalier will go anywhere and plan to win. Tomorrow, definitely also, we plan to win the game and we are prepared to win the game."

With no points so far, Port of Spain also needs to start winning if they are to finish in Group A's top two. Their coach, Walter Noriega, says they are aware of what they need to do and what kind of threat Cavalier poses through its young players.

"We know we have to get the job done in this game here," he said during their press conference. "We know the team is full of youngsters, and youngsters bring energy and movement. They'll want to impress their coach and we know we have to match their intensity and execute."

Cavalier will look to Shaniel Thomas to provide further spark, and perhaps get on the scoresheet again, as he did last week. But midfielder Nickache Murray will miss the game.

"He is recovering from an injury," Laylor said. "I won't say the rest [of players missing through injury] yet because we're still looking at them to see how well they recover up to that point if they can start or we have to bench them."

But Laylor is confident in the team's preparation and sharpness.

"Preparation is good, it is where we're supposed to be at this point," he said. "We're not fully fit, but for the most part, I'd say we're at 70 to 80 per cent in terms of fitness for most of the team."

Collin Anderson, who was the Jamaica Premier League's top scorer with 20 goals last season, has left Cavalier for Macedonian club FK Bregalnica Štip.

As a result, Cavalier brought back former striker Nicholas Hamilton, who spent last season at Harbour View and overseas at Finnish sides FF Jaro Jakobstads BK. Laylor describes his return as "a good look".

Rachid Parchment

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