Price optimistic Calabar can find another gear
Calabar’s Fitzroy McLeod (left) gets by Teyshawn Mattis of Kingston College during their Manning Cup Group A encounter at Red Hills Road on Saturday. (Photo: Joseph Wellington)

Though their chances of making the second round dwindled after a second defeat to Kingston College, Calabar's Head Coach Andrew Price remains optimistic about the team's chances down the stretch of the Inter-secondary Schools Sports Association/Digicel Manning Cup season.

In fact, Price is eyeing nothing but the positives about where Calabar can go and what they can achieve, despite having only secured one win in four games so far.

The "Lions" are currently sitting fourth on four points, way behind leaders Kingston College (KC) on maximum 12 points, Waterford (10 points) and St George's College (nine points) in the battle for two automatic spots from Group A.

"There is an opportunity, we just have to keep playing well and keep trying to get some points," Price told the Jamaica Observer, shortly after Calabar's 0-3 loss to Kingston College at their Red Hills Road base on Saturday.

"We have a lot of game in hand that we have to play so it's about making the most of those games. KC has already taken ascendancy in the zone and you know they are going to hang tough to that lead, so we have to look for one of the spots that will get us into the second round," he added.

For Price much encouragement has come from the fact that his team is clearly on track with the style of football that they are trying to play, as he reiterated that the goal is to translate that into victories.

After opening the season with a 1-5 loss to Kingston College, Calabar bounced back to hammer Ardenne 6-1, as well as to secure a 1-1 stalemate with Waterford.

However, their progress was derailed by the purples, now leaving them with an uphill climb if they are to add to their three titles, the last of which came in 2005.

"I have seen some improvements from the first game that we played, we move the ball around a lot better than the first game and we got a couple of opportunities which we should have made better use of.

"But they are improving, they are learning, what impress me we had two 14-year old on the pitch and they played well and put in a good shifts. So they will continue to learn on the job and we have more games to play so we just have to keep working," Price noted.

That said, the veteran tactician also rued his team's poor marking of KC's highly thought of young striker Dujuan Richards, who single-handedly got the job done for his team with goals on the 20th, 33rd and 49th minutes, taking his tally to eight goals so far this season.

"Dujuan Richards really changed the game for KC, we had earmarked him to be closely monitored because as I always say if you don't mark quality players properly they are going to damage you and that is exactly what happened," Price said.

"When he came off the field the game changed totally — we had more possession of the ball and they weren't really threatening at all. So you have to look at quality players and shut them down, and we didn't do that with this kid who is pretty special," he ended.

BY SHERDON COWAN Staff reporter cowans@jamaicaobserver.com

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