Boyz gear up for Suri­name clash

...Whit­more con­fi­dent de­spite in­juries to key play­ers

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Liv­ingston Scott Gleaner Writer

CAP­TAIN JE-VAUGHN Wat­son and Ke­mar Lawrence have been ruled out of Ja­maica’s cru­cial Caribbean Cup qual­i­fier against Suri­name at the Na­tional Sta­dium this Sunday.

Wat­son has been side­lined for six to eight weeks af­ter do­ing an op­er­a­tion on his her­nia, while Lawrence will miss out af­ter pick­ing up a ham­string in­jury in the New York Red Bulls’ play­off game against Mon­treal Im­pact last week­end.

Al­though coach Theodore ‘Tappa’ Whit­more will miss the pair and an­tic­i­pates a tough en­counter against the Suri­namese, he is con­vinced that vic­tory will be theirs at the end of 90 min­utes on Sunday.

“We know that once the na­tional team has a game, it’s go­ing to be tough. We over­came Guyana, and now, we are look­ing for­ward to the Suri­name game, and we don’t want to leave any­thing up to chance,” he said.

(De­spite the in­juries) we are look­ing for a good game and a good per­for­mance and a pos­i­tive re­sult,” he told The Gleaner at the team’s train­ing ses­sion at Sta­dium East yes­ter­day.

With Wat­son out, goal­keeper An­dre Blake has been handed the man­tle to lead the team and has wel­comed the re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“It’s my first cap­taincy at the na­tional level. It’s a priv­i­lege, an hon­our, so my job now is to try and get the play­ers on the same page so we can go out and do what we have to do. For me, it’s no added pres­sure. I’m a leader and I will just be me,” he said.

Ja­maica and Suri­name are tied on three points af­ter both scored vic­to­ries over Guyana. How­ever, Whit­more wants to avoid the kind of start they had against Guyana, and vic­tory on Sunday would se­cure their place in the re­gional Caribbean Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

“Suri­name is a hard-run­ning team, but Caribbean teams play­ing against Ja­maica are al­ways up for it, and the first 20 min­utes of the Guyana game, we do not want.

“We are Caribbean cham­pi­ons and we are look­ing to the Caribbean Cup and the Gold Cup as well. The Gold Cup is ba­si­cally our World Cup, so we have to do what we have to do be there. So far we are OK but with the ab­sence of cer­tain play­ers we are a bit un­bal­ance, but it’s work­able and we are look­ing for a pos­i­tive re­sult,” he said.

Whit­more

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