Guyana, Bermuda ready for tonight’s encounter

first_imgCONCACAF Gold Cup debutants Guyana and Bermuda will meet for the first time since October 11, 2011, when they square off tonight in an International Friendly at Bermuda National Sports Center from 21:00hrs.At a joint press conference hosted yesterday, the respective head coaches expressed that the match is about getting it right, ahead of their showing at the Confederation’s showpiece next week.The two nations have a lot in common as they continue their walk into history – the first time they have both qualified for the highest possible tournament in the Confederation. Guyana have been drawn in Group D along with the USA, Panama and Trinidad & Tobagowhile Bermuda are in Group B alongside Haiti, Costa Rica and Nicaragua.Speaking to the local media were the respective head coaches and captains: Guyana’s Michael Johnson and Sam Cox and Bermuda’s Kyle Lightbourne and Dante Leverock.Johnson explained that Guyana would not be leaving its fate up to another country, adding that his side “just want to look after business ourselves. We can’t start looking and focussing on other teams and what they do and how they do. We’ve just got to go about our business and make sure we are mentally prepared, physically prepared and when we go out there, to perform at the standards that we know we are capable of doing. If we do that, where that takes us, we are more than happy.”Johnson, who would be making his debut as a coach at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, having represented Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz as a player in 2010, noted that Guyana would not be showing much from a strategic standpoint as opposing teams would be on the hunt for information.“Are we going to go out and show our formation, our personnel and the players that are going to start, absolutely not; we would be wrong to do that, knowing that the likelihood is that US, Panama and Trinidad would all be looking at this game,” Johnson said..“What we want to do is make sure we are moving and progressing in the right way. The players are looking as sharp and physically ready within the formation that we are going and play,” Johnson said.Johnson reminded that it is not about Guyana’s strongest team or starting eleven as of yet, as this would come for the opening CONCACAF Gold Cup match: “A lot of it is just individual units, just making sure that things are clicking and all the players are in good nick.”Meanwhile, Lightbourne, in sharing his thoughts on his aim for the Gold Cup, said “We’re new to the competition; we’re a nation that’s growing so we are looking for a good performance from our players. If we play to our ability that we know we can play; don’t be afraid of the occasion, enjoy it and maybe put a couple teams on the back foot, that’s what we are looking for at this stage.”Commenting directly on today’s friendly, Lightbourne noted that they are expecting to see what they have been working on during training being executed in offence and defence.Golden Jaguars captain Cox said that he is looking forward to the match and is expecting a tough challenge from Bermuda but suggested that the encounter would be used to build relationships, “see what we are like in and out of possession, and build towards the Gold Cup but we know it’s going to be a competitive fixture and one that we are all looking forward to. Players have all got their heads on it. The focus is on the next two to three weeks but today is going to be a brilliant exercise for both sides for sure.”Bermuda skipper Leverock said there is a good buzz around his team, sharing that the majority of the players have been training for the past month and putting in hard work.Leverock, who plays in Ireland with Sligo Rovers FC, said the players believe they can beat anyone on the day. “We are excited and we are ready to go now.”Both coaches agreed that the main business starts on June 16 in the case of Bermuda and June 18 for Guyana.The last time the two nations met, the match ended in a 1-1 draw and while a win would be accepted, the leading tacticians on both teams also agreed that that would not be the primary focus of the match.last_img

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