Reggae Boyz Head Coach Paul Hall is expecting his charges to prove a far more formidable force when the host Suriname in the return-leg Nations League A group match inside Kingston’s National Stadium at 8:00pm on Tuesday.
The team played out a 1-1 result in Paramaribo on Saturday, after Junior Flemmings had given his side a 1-0 lead in the first half, only for goalkeeper Amal Knight to register an own goal late in the second half.
But since then, there has been much distraction for Hall’s players, who have demanded the resignation of Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) General Secretary Dalton Wint following the debacle of return travel arrangements on the weekend.
The Reggae Boyz players have said they would not participate any further in the competition is Wint was not separated from the program. They have been so militant that they refused to take to the pitch for Monday’s one-hour training session at the game venue between 6 and 7 pm.
However, reports have emerged that they held a practice session early Tuesday morning. As regards Wint, CNW Network understands that the former Manchester Football Association president has committed to tendering his resignation, but it is said that he has asked for a separation package which would see him being paid up for the remainder of his contract which expires December 2023.
Failing an agreement, the local governing body could be forced to attempt a dismissal.
On the field, Hall will be able to rely on the services of seasoned England-based players who did not make the trip to Suriname due to no fault of theirs, but that of the JFF.
“We are now looking to coming back and welcoming them (Suriname) back to our place with a much stronger squad and a squad that is hungry to beat them,” Hall told the media during Monday’s press briefing.
“We have five additions coming into the squad and although I am mindful of what happened against Panama (When then head coach Theodore Whitmore inserted a number of new players in the World Cup qualifying campaign which the Boyz lost 3-0)… we are a much stronger squad, so we are going to be on the front foot trying to suffocate Suriname as much as possible.”
He added: “They (Suriname) need to understand that we are on the front foot now and we are at home, so yes, they are going to have some space, they are a good team and we respect that, but we are at home and we have the initiative and we have some good payers coming back who are going to be involved in the team. Shamar (Nicholson), we’ve got Ravel (Morrison), we’ve got Bell (Amari’i), Jamal Lowe, Rolando Aarons! These are quality players coming back, so we are looking forward to seeing Suriname tomorrow (Tuesday).”
The Reggae Boyz have been porous in defense in recent times and Hall, who has also hinted at stepping away due to the toxic environment, is hoping to address that area of concern.
“We need to make more improvements defensively,” he admitted. “We gave them a little bit too much respect, attacking us and allowing them to get through with shots at us which forced Amal to make some really good saves, so I’m looking for the Boyz to make it a fortress at the back and try to be stingy with the efforts we allow Suriname to make on us.”
Regional powerhouse Mexico are also in the group and will visit Jamaica on June 14.