Guyana Head-coach Jamaal Shabazz said he takes full responsibility for the nation’s disappointing loss to Jamaica in the Caribbean Cup Qualifiers and said that this will likely be his last fixture at the helm of the setup.
Guyana surrendered a 2-0 lead at half time to go down 4-2 to the defending champions in extra time on Tuesday at the National Track and Field Centre in Leonora, in the process sealing their exit from the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) championship.
Speaking at the press conference following his side’s elimination, Shabazz said:”I have given 10 years of my life. I have become Guyanese.
It took a tremendous sacrifice but I realise I don’t have to be a national coach to contribute to Guyana’s development.
“However, I have a contract with the administration and will work out a way so that I can go. Some will be happy, some will sad. Maybe the time has come for someone with fresh ideas and is not as controversial.” According to Shabazz, the position probably needs someone who is more conservative.
“I will never be a conservative” he added.
“It is fair for me to take responsibility for the loss today [Tuesday] but I must applaud the efforts of the younger players even the experienced ones. I don’t think we could have given anymore, we gave what we had in the tank.”
Shabazz said credit must be heaped on the Jamaicans who taught Guyana a lesson on how to fashion a result compliments of their reputation, indicating:”This is a learning curve for Guyana. We wanted to go away saying we defeated the Caribbean champions but what you put in is what you will get out. We gave what we could gave and the nation feels the pain as we feel the pain.
“This is football. We worked hard and we rejoiced when we were on top and when we lose, we feel the pain as a nation, this must be a memorable moment for us. Some players had to use saline solution to continue on the field, they have everything and we have a team for the future,” he said.
Asked about the difficulties faced during his three tenures, Shabazz said “It has been difficult in order to train and to camp and get facilities because we have no facilities. We have to play in the cricket stadium and only can train when we are told to
“We thought when the government changed we would get it but we never got it. The least you can get for football is a field. Guyana is a big country with a small population and look at the facilities for football. Football has run down and dilapidated facilities,” he added.