Stats won't count! ...Lawes Anticipates cagey Waterhouse, Arnett semi-final
Waterhouse defender Shawn Lawes says it will be defence against attack when Waterhouse meet Arnett Gardens in a gigantic first-leg semi-final clash of their Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) at Drewsland on Monday evening.
Despite Waterhouse having the fifth best defensive record in the RSPL, with 33 goals against, and Arnett the second best attacking stats behind Portmore with 53 goals, Lawes, believes it will come down to who shows up on the day and delivers.
"On the day statistics don't count, it's who wants it more on the given day. They (Arnett) are coming up against one of the best defensive units so it is going to be attack against defence," he said.
The central defender who has been a linchpin of the Waterhouse defence and the team's revival this season, also believes having their enthusiastic and demanding fans behind them will only boost their chance for victory.
"When we are performing good the whole community is happy and they get behind the team. When you have a community like Waterhouse with a huge fan base, they can be boisterous at times but on the field it (the bond) is more spiritual. So we try to give a good account of ourselves, get them to join in the game and push us forward," he said.
The defender, who was recently called to the national senior team, believes his contribution this season has been quite valuable, and he was full of praise for coach Donovan Duckie and how he turned the team around after their poor start to the league.
"At the start of the season it was straight down hill for Waterhouse FC," he said. "We played the first six games and got six points. Coach (Glendon) Bailey was removed, and then Donovan Duckie came in and the guys stuck around and got it together. Duckie came and lifted the spirit of the team and the whole community and that has been good for the community itself.
"The players now have a much better focus and are willing to do the work to get the job done. No disrespect to Bailey, but certain players and certain systems don't fit. The system with the man marker (that Bailey used) saw us conceding a lot. But Duckie came in and implemented his strategy and I think it has worked best with the players available," he reasoned.
He added that momentum is now on Waterhouse's side and they hope to make the most of their present form. "The past few years, we haven't been in this type of position, it has mainly been relegation battles," Lawes explained. "So I am grateful I could involve myself in the team and the community and we will try to keep that momentum going."