‘Tappa’ attributes recent success to no off-field issues
National senior men's football team coach, Theodore 'Tappa' Whitmore, said a number of factors contributed to the team's outstanding performances against Antigua and Barbuda, and Guyana in the Concacaf Nations League recently.
But, he believes the two main contributors were the improved chemistry between the players and the fact that they had no off-field issues going into the games.
The Reggae Boyz defeated Antigua and Barbuda 6-0 at home in the first game on September 6 and then brushed aside Guyana 4-0 in an away fixture a few days later.
"A number of things contributed (to the big wins). It's getting closer to the main objective, World Cup qualification, so everything now is geared towards World Cup qualification and everybody knows what is at stake," he said.
"Most people don't realise the importance of this tournament but it helps us maintain our top six position in the hexagonal, so it's very important what we do from now until June of next year. Although some think we are playing against some easy teams (because of results), but it's about proper planing, preparation, and execution."
He continued: "But coming into these two games there were no off the field issues. They (players) were just focused on playing the games and that is something that is happening for the first time since I have been coaching the national team, that I could get a team prepared without any off-field issues and this something we want to look at and take serious going forward."
He also noted that Bobby Reid was the only new addition to the team from the Gold Cup squad, and that the bond and understanding between the players is growing. "The only new addition was Bobby Reid but everybody else played a number of times, so they know what we want to achieve, what we are about, and everything is just coming together," he said.
Jamaica will play Aruba at home then away on October 12 and 15, respectively, and Whitmore is demanding consistency from his players. "We are now looking forward to the Aruba game and we start to put things in place. We can't drop the level, we have to build on each game and at all times stay one notch above. The Aruba game we cannot afford no complacency we have to approach it with the mindset to win," he said.