Knight unfazed by criticism

June 10, 2022
National goalkeeper Amal Knight.
National goalkeeper Amal Knight.

National goalkeeper Amal Knight says that it was not difficult to retain his focus in Jamaica's 3-1 Concacaf Nations League win over Suriname on Tuesday, despite his error in Saturday's game costing them three points.

Knight continued to deputise for captain Andre Blake who remained unavailable because of injury. Blake picked up the injury in the warm-up of Saturday's game in Suriname.

Knight's attempted clearance in the 84th minute of that game led to the ball rolling into his net, forcing a 1-1 draw with Suriname in their Nations League opener. Knight said that it was important that he rebounded quickly, with the same confidence he displayed on Saturday, despite criticisms of his role in that equaliser.

"Mistakes are a part of the game," Knight told THE WEEKEND STAR. "I can't dwell on that mistake. I played well in that game. And, you know, you do 99 good [things] and one bad, everyone will remember the bad. I just put that behind me. I just came out with a positive mindset to just play my game to help the team get three points. The coaches know what I can do despite the negative comments. They see me in training every day and I think that's why I'm here."

Knight's performance included being involved in playing from the back. He demonstrated this in the first half when he evaded an onrushing Suriname player coming into the penalty area with his feet to alleviate the danger. It is a skill that Knight says that he is pleased to have in his arsenal.

"I'm not afraid with the ball at my feet," he said. "If it happens again, I just have to deal with it in the situation. Whatever my mind tells me to do, that's what I'm going to do. And, in that situation, I just had to get out of trouble and that's what I did."

Interim head coach Paul Hall praised Knight's performance given the current circumstances.

"I do feel that Knight has done a great job in his (Blake's) absence in a difficult time. He stepped in and he's got some valuable experience," Hall said.

Hall said that they are trying to get Blake ready for Tuesday's game against Mexico but did not state specifically the injury which has kept him out of the last two games.

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