`It’s a game we want to win’

—Says Golden Jaguars head coach Michael Johnson

Golden Jaguars Head-Coach Michael Johnson [7th from left], making a point to his charges at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora, ahead of their clash with Barbados in the CONCACAF Nations League Qualifiers

With less than 48 hours before their opening clash against Barbados in the CONCACAF Nations League qualifiers, Golden Jaguars Head-Coach Michael Johnson says the objective is to produce a good performance and secure a victory.

 “The prospects for me first and foremost is a good performance and it’s a game we want to win. This is serious now, its business now,” the recently appointed tactician, during a brief interview said,

“The Brazil camp was wonderful and it was about development but now we enter the nation’s elite programme and the qualification is now for the Gold Cup.

“We want to win and we look at the squad that we assembled and the squad is very good.

Members of the Golden Jaguars unit conducting a possession based drill, during their morning session at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora, ahead of their clash with Barbados in the CONCACAF Nations League Qualifiers

“Now the coaches will have the time to work with the players on the pitch, work with the players so they understand what exactly what we want,” he added.

Guyana will face-off against the lads from the `Land of the Flying Fish’ at the National Track and Field Centre, Leonora in what will be the 19th meeting of the nations.

According to Johnson, who represented Jamaica at the international level, “What I will say is that we want to give you a team that you are really proud of seeing and watching and knowing that the team will give 100 percent. “I am sure if we give 100 percent, then I don’t think we will have any problems but it’s our job to ensure that everyone is motivated and inspired to realize what is at hand.”

Making history

“It’s a chance to make history and one of the staff members when we went to Brazil, we went to the museum and the first line was Brazil didn’t walk through history, they made history.

“Well, it’s our chance not to walk through history but to make history. We want everyone to be together with us. “This is for Guyana and we want everyone to come out and really get behind the team.

“The President and the Technical Director have not assembled a squad for playtime, its serious business and we are going for qualification for the Gold Cup,” said Johnson.

Asked what will be team’s philosophy for the clash, Johnson revealed, “The philosophy for this game is that we want to play with the vibrancy and on the front foot and we want to be high pressure. We  want to use what we believe are the cultural imprints of who we are and one of the things we know is that we are a vibrant nation that loves to dance and loves music. We want the players to play with a smile on their face but the way you play with a smile on your face is doing the right things.”

Flair and vibrancy

“We will promise a hardworking team, if we can get the team enjoying it by doing the right things and hard-work, then I am sure the flair and vibrancy will come out in the final third. We are working tenaciously to make sure that is delivered, not just in the camp, not just on the pitch but also off the field as well,” he declared.

Quizzed about the composition of the team, he disclosed, “The squad is made up of talents from all over the world, a lot of guys from England, we got Canada in Jelani [Smith] and Brandon [Beresford] from over in America. They are a lot of guys from the Brazil camp that formed part of the squad and they might be one or two surprises of who might be involved and on the bench. But I think the squad that we have assembled is competitive, we are happy with squad and it’s a squad that I believe will really do justice for the country. This is a squad that I am very comfortable with.”

Guyana features in a group also consisting of Turks and Caicos Islands, French Guiana and Belize. They will also host Belize on March 2019, after travelling to Turks and Caicos Islands and French Guiana during October and November 2018 respectively.

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