Bailey calls for patience as Boyz prepare to face Soca Warriors
TOP forward Leon Bailey has called on fans to be patient and trust the process ahead of Jamaica's second match at the 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup. The Reggae Boyz will face Trinidad and Tobago (T&T)n at 6:36 p.m. today (Jamaica time) in their Group 'A' encounter at City Park in St. Louis.
At yesterday's pre-match press conference, Bailey reiterated that the Jamaica team is still in transition and it is going to take some time to get things right, this after the team conceded a late goal to share the points against the United States in last Saturday's 1-1 draw.
"We are still a team that is trying to build. There are a lot of new players in the team and we have a system that not a lot of people are used to. It's takes time to build a team if you want to be successful. Everything doesn't come overnight, it takes time."
Bailey also shrugged off any notion that he is lacking in confidence after he missed a penalty during the USA encounter and the winger says the team's focus is purely on getting three points against a T&T team which the Boyz failed to beat in two home friendlies in March.
Head coach Heimir Hallgrimsson is anticipating another tough encounter against their Caribbean rivals who are sitting atop the group on three points following their 3-0 win over St. Kitts & Nevis.
"We know it's going to be hard to break them down so one of the key things is to be patient and continue to knock on the door as long as we need without getting over-ambitious in what we are doing," Hallgrimsson said.
The Icelandic coach is confident his team can secure the win and get all three points as the players have been gelling well off the field.
A video of some members of the Reggae Boyz team singing while captain Andre Blake played the piano in the team hotel lobby has gone viral, and Hallgrimsson is hoping that harmonious energy can be transferred onto the pitch come game time.
"It's all about how the team works together. The more friends and unity you have in the squad, the better the team performs on the pitch," he said.
In the meantime, T&T head coach Angus Eve knows that today's encounter will be a different ball game from the March friendlies and the former national player wants his charges to put up a good fight.
"It's no secret that we and Jamaica have a big rivalry in the Caribbean and it's a big derby game for us. The intensity and preparation have been really good so we are looking forward to the match," Eve said.