Following a disappointing campaign highlighted by three consecutive losses, Guyana will battle group leader and undefeated El Salvador tonight at 8 pm in the CONCACAF U20 Championship at the IMG Academy, Florida, USA.
The teams enter what will be the third meeting of the nations in contrasting positions, with Guyana in the cellar and among only three teams yet to secure a point in the tournament.
Their present predicament occurred after losses to Guatemala, the Cayman Islands and Curacao.
Stabroek Sports spoke to Head-Coach Wayne Dover prior to their final practice session. Asked how the management team will motivate the players for the matchup given their consecutive losses, Dover said, “From a mental standpoint what we can do is take the positives out of the game [Curacao], highlight all the good things they have done which could have given us the victory and we will let them realise that they did well in those regards and try to build on that.”
According to Dover, “We won’t spend too much time dealing with the negatives even though we want to highlight a few things that went wrong and caused us so we wouldn’t make the same mistakes but build on the positives so that we could motivate them to come out and be more positive in the next game.”
He revealed, “More than likely most of the players will go through a recovery session to get them back up to speed and those that did not play we will give them a session that keeps their muscles active. We are going through the tactics, more on the defensive side to see how we can stop the floodgates of the many goals that we conceded. Of course, we are still going through the offensive pattern that we worked on in the last three days and play in the last two games that gave us two goals. We will be positive in that regard.”
Quizzed about the approach for the impending fixture, Dover revealed, “We will approach the final game with the same effort which is try and come out with a win so that we could try and register a win and don’t be the only team without a win. We scored some goals but we have conceded many goals so we want to at least end the tournament with a win so we will give everything in the last game to see how best we get that win.”
He further affirmed, “The first game we sat deep and we played five in midfield, four at the back and one at the top. We played the line three position and still concede four goals so given the fact that we already lost three games there is no need to sit deep and pretend like we don’t want to concede goals, we want to score goals and win the game. We will try see how best we can correct the awareness of the players at the next session and hope that they can be disciplined defensively and we score some goals and win the game so we can come out with three points.”
Questioned on if he is disappointed in the team’s overall performance, Dover declared, “To say disappointed might be too harsh on the lads because I would feel the disappointment if we were in a position comfortably with everything that was required to make this team come out here to compete at a level to qualify. If I was in that position, I would have said that given the fact that everything was what we wanted we could have been disappointed but I think the lads fought under the circumstances and the most I can say for me as a coach I am hurt but I am not disappointed with the players.”