‘Early energy pushed them aside’ – Shabazz

Three first half goals propelled the Golden Jaguars to their first win at the National Stadium at Providence when the scored a resounding 3-0  win over  Dominca under floodlights last night in the first Group `B’ match of the Digicel Caribbean Championships (DCC).

A double from Nigel ‘Powers’ Codrington and an individual goal from Glenorvan Donavan guided the Jaguars to their first ever victory at Providence which may serve as a huge confidence booster for them to avenge their earlier defeat at the venue to Suriname come tomorrow.

Head Coach of the Jaguars, Jamaal Shabazz said at the post-game press conference that he was pleased with the early energy that the team exhibited.

However, Shabazz said that the emotions of the players may have been the reason for the decrease in intensity in the second half.

“There is a tremendous amount of positives that can be drawn from this win and that can help us for our match on Sunday. Our possessions were good, and we moved the ball very well, but the only downfall was that the emotions of the players may have gotten in the way as they took their feet off the pedal in the second half and accepted the three-goal advantage,” he said.

Shabazz added: “We just have to work on becoming more consistent in our game for the full 90 minutes.

The head coach also made a call to the football fans to come out for tomorrow’s game.

“Anyone who does not want to come out on Sunday should re-examine their nationality,” he said.

The Jaguars head coach said after Guyana was able to defeat Suriname 5-0 in last year’s DCC  they (Suriname) studied the team and were able to shock Guyana by wining the next two encounters.

He said that the team had made some changes, one of which was seen when he went with the 4-4-2 system (four defenders, four midfielders and two strikers) where specialist defender Walter Moore was brought forward to play the midfield position.

“Variety is the spice of life and just as how it confused you (member of the media who mistook the system for the three-five-two) we are hoping that some other of the changes will confuse Suriname.”

Jaguars Captain Charles Pollard, said that although they were able to secure the win, the team played at 25 percent of its optimum.

He also said that inexperience got the better of some of the young players in the second half and said that he would be looking to his coach to help the team correct their flaws before the Suriname encounter.

Dominica’s Captain and team goalkeeper Glenson Prince was struck in the head while retrieving a corner minutes before Codrington netted the opening goal.

“I was hit in my head when I was going after the cross but that is not an alibi, we played soft early and I give all credit to the Guyana team for the win,” he said.

Shabazz singled out younger players Devon Millington, Donovan, and Kestor Jacobs for playing well in their first major international match.

He also said that the team will put all the memories of the defeat to adversary Suriname behind and aim to create better memories in tomorrow’s match.

Stabroek Sport also managed to speak with the mothers of midfielder Konata Manning and striker Anthony Abrams after the game.

“I think the team played very well and they played with togetherness early in the game, but they could have played better in the second half,” Roxanne Keith, Manning’s mother said.

Dawn Dover, Abrams’s mother said: “Although my son didn’t play I think the team played very well and if they keep playing like this, they will beat Suriname,” said Dover adding that hoped that her son would play tomorrow.

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