Reggae Girlz fight to stay alive
Livingston Scott/Gleaner Writer email@example.com
WHEN JAMAICA’S Reggae Girlz face off against Panama in their Concacaf Women’s Gold Cup qualifier at the National Stadium this evening at 7:00, coach Xavier Gilbert says it will be a battle to stay alive.
The Girlz sit bottom of the three-team group with one point from two games. Panama lead with six points from three matches and Guatemala are second on four points from three games.
The Reggae Girlz are again without their first-string players, who made themselves unavailable for the second international window because of unresolved issues with the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).
Gilbert expects a strong Panamanian team for the match, and despite not having the regular senior team Girlz at his disposal, he argued that the game is played on the day. Still, the man who took charge of the Reggae Girlz for the first time in the last international window is placing no expectations on the group.
“It’s for us to go out and execute on the day. I am optimistic we can get something out of the game and that is the objective and we are working towards.
“But games are played on the day. We can expect things and they don’t work out our way. But at the end of the day we have to come out and perform, no matter what we expect,” he said
“We have to come out and play. Panama is not going to give us anything. We know what is at stake, they also know, and they are hungry for it just as we are. So we are going to have to come out and earn everything.”
He said they will have a pragmatic approach to the game and that the flow of the game will dictate how they respond tactically. “Expectations aside, we have to come out and get something out of the game. That is just the bottom line. The game will dictate what it is and what we need to do. We have to be positive but we still have to be mindful of their threat,” he said. The danger of Panama will not cause Gilbert or his charges to drop their heads though, with the intention still very much to grab three points.
“We want to be positive and the mindset is to be positive, but we have to play the game that is in front of us. We need a result from the game. We are aiming for a win, of course, but if we do not get a win we need something out of the game. That will keep us alive going into the next game,” he said.
Although Gilbert is without his top players, he said they will give their all and hope for the best.
“At this stage it doesn’t matter what I think. This is what (players) we have available. So this is what we are going to be working with. They have to put everything else aside and come out, perform and execute,” he said, while urging fans to come and throw their support behind the team.
“We just want the Jamaican people to come out and support the team. We really are going to need their support. Hopefully, we can put on a show that they will enjoy.”