Brooklyn, New York: Jamaican coach, Arthur Mikes says his side will not be taking Haiti lightly in the Digicel Caribbean Cup match in New York on Sunday.
“So far the tournament has been going well. We’ve played – and won – all three games, beating Guyana, Antigua and Colombia – who we beat 5-0. We’ve scored 14 goals and only conceded two so we couldn’t have asked for a better start to be honest,” Milkes said.
According to Mikes, the Jamaicans are ready for Sunday’s match but will not take the Haitian game lightly.
“Training is going well – the players are well disciplined and prepared for the match on Sunday. But Haiti always give us a good game, they are a very forceful side so we’re focusing on gaining and maintaining possession – keeping the ball away from them so that they are chasing us. The Haiti game is always an important match for us. Over the last six years or so, they have been the team that have beaten us and for them it’s also important because we have been the team who have stopped them historically,” continued Mikes.
“Support for the tournament has been great despite two of the games coinciding with holiday weekends – we still had great Jamaican support and during the World Cup of course, we had tremendous support with football fever gripping everyone.”
Haiti coach, JC Valin, says this could be the most influential match of the tournament so far for his team. “This is our third match so far. We drew the first match against Guyana and won the second against Colombia, so it’s important that we win this match to guarantee a position in the play-offs.
“There’s no question – Jamaica are the team to beat. They have been champions for five years in a row now and without a doubt they are the best in the competition. They are a very tactical team and they play with speed and we are going to have to manage that in order to control the game. We’ll try to slow them down and frustrate them in their play to give us a chance with the ball and score goals. We need to get up front, attack and put pressure on their defence.”
“So far the support has been good but I expect on Sunday we’ll see big numbers out to watch these two teams playing each other,” continued Valin.
This is the second year of a three-year sponsorship agreement with Digicel which provides much-needed funds to stage the weekly rounds of the tournament, as well as marketing support and investment in player development.
The tournament is in its 19th year and features 12 representative teams from the Caribbean and South America. The Digicel Caribbean Cup New York began on May 30 in Jefferson High School, Flatlands Ave, Brooklyn, New York and 15 weeks of exciting Sunday afternoon football will take place before the grand final on September 5.