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January 31, 2013
Star Sport


Whitmore anxious ahead of Mexico clash
Ryon Jones, Staff Reporter

Whitmore - File

Jamaica's senior football team head coach, Theodore Whitmore, is expressing concern ahead of his team's final round World Cup Qualifier against CONCACAF kingpins Mexico in the opening game of the hexagonal stage inside the Azteca, Mexico City, on Wednesday, February 6.

The 23-man squad consists of five players, who are either new or have only represented the country a number of years ago, as well as eight players who have been out of competitive action for a couple of months.

"There is a lot of concern going into the game, but we have done it time and time again, so this is no different from the type of games that we have had to play," Whitmore said.

With the team consisting of predominantly overseas-based players, that will only be released by their clubs 48 hours prior to the game, the team is likely to engage in a mere two training sessions ahead of the match.

cause for concern

"All the other five teams are playing games and have been in camp for over a month now, and we are here sitting not doing anything, not in camp or anything, so there must be cause for concern going into our first game," Whitmore said.

"We have 10 games to play, the Mexico game is just one, and so it is not the end of the road. We are going there on a positive, so we don't want to lose the game before we play the game.

"In football, there is only one dominating team right now and it is Spain, so anything can happen."

There are some notable absentees from the squad in the form of Sean Fraser, who currently plays in the Mexican second division and Darren Mattocks, Je-Vaughn Watson and right back Lovel Palmer.

"I don't think I will ever select a 23-man squad or an 18-man squad or pick an 11 that everybody will find suitable," Whitmore said.

"The technical staff has picked a side that we know is suitable and has the match fitness for this game.

"Sean Fraser has been in the national team, so we know what he has to offer. No doubt Sean Fraser is a good player, but this particular game we have players who can do the job."

With Palmer, who has been playing in right back in recent games, having been left off the squad; the team is without an established right back, but Whitmore is confident that he has players capable of slotting into the position.

"We are looking, for a suitable right back," Whitmore admitted. "Omar Daley is an option, you have (Adrian) Mariappa who plays right back for his club and Tramaine Stewart who plays right back sometimes also for his club."

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