Golden Jaguars captain Chris Nurse and his Jamaican counterpart Jevaughn Watson said yesterday they envision a competitive and exciting fixture when the countries clash today in the third round of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Caribbean Cup Qualifiers.
Guyana face-off with Jamaica at the National Track and Field Centre in Leonora from 20:00hrs in a must win fixture, following their opening 2-3 loss to Suriname on Saturday in Paramaribo.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday held at the Signature Inn Nurse said:“Just from the players we are excited. I don’t think we have faced a team of this magnitude since we played against Mexico and Costa Rica, so it is going to be a test for our team.”
Nurse, who is suffering from a leg injury added:“We don’t have the Jaguars at their full potential. Match fitness has been a huge issue for us in camp not just from domestic players but the overseas as well but we are doing the best we can.”
The veteran midfielder said fans needed to support the team regardless.
“It is important for the public to understand and this is not to make excuses but they need to be educated in the support they give the team. Regardless of the situation the players will be going out and give the best they can.
“It is important for the public to understand that getting behind the team gives the extra energy, especially home here in Guyana,” the Puerto Rico FC standout said.
‘Reggae Boyz’ skipper Watson said his team was glad to play the Golden Jaguars.
“We are glad to be here to play against Guyana which we know is a good team so coming tomorrow [today], we expect it be to be a quality game because they have good players.
“We expect nothing but them coming out with their best foot forward. We like competitive games so we are here to win a game. It is not going to be easy because they are a good team at the end of the day, we just have to do our work on the field and at the end of the day come away with three points,” he added.
Meanwhile, Head-coach of the Guyana squad Jamaal Shabazz said “For us tomorrow [today] it is not just important for us to stay in the competition and for us to produce a good performance and make a good impression but to show we are capable of matching the team because we are about a programme.
“Too many times in the Caribbean we think only for today and not for tomorrow and we when we are pushed into that ‘today jacket’, the fashion changes so quickly so tomorrow, we are out of fashion,” he added.
The Trinidad and Tobago native said despite wanting to win the team was looking for the best result. “We have to approach this game with the aim of a long term and try get the best result. It is a proud moment for us that we go on the field with a Caribbean giant and we will put our best foot forward.
“We know they are a hurricane and we know we will have to shut up our doors and windows. We know the nature of the opponents, no matter how much minutes we have, we will give our best,” he said.
Similarly, Jamaica’s head tactician Theodore Whitmore affirmed “It’s a very difficult moment for the Jamaica national team since we missed out on [World Cup] Russia 2018 qualification. We have a game coming up tomorrow [today] but preparation has not been that conducive. “We have only one training session as a full team. We were looking forward to some more training time but due to Hurricane Matthew it didn’t allow but we looking forward to a competitive game tomorrow,” he concluded.