Dunbeholden ready for Mount Pleasant’s challenge
Dunbeholden will go into their Jamaica Premier League (JPL) first-leg quarterfinal against Mount Pleasant this evening at Sabina Park as the underdogs, and assistant coach Jermaine Thomas is contending that they will have to be on their best game to deny the league's big spenders a place in the last four.
Nevertheless, he believes they are fully prepared for the challenge.
"We are ready. We have been doing well over the last few weeks, and the players and coaching staff have been working assiduously.
"Is not going to be easy. This is a quarterfinal, we know what their competencies are, and we are prepared and ready," Thomas stated.
He pointed out that they have improved in performance and confidence but must be wary of how dangerous their opponents can be.
"Having gone to the final last year and getting back to this point, it has been a bit easier getting the guys ready psychologically. Also, we started getting goals through (Junior) McGregor, Stephen (Williams) and a few youngsters, and that has been the difference.
"Mount Pleasant can be tricky. It's how well you manage the game, close down spaces and manage with one versus ones with them.
"Once we can do that and concentrate for long periods, then we can be in business, but if we fail to do that we could be in trouble," he said.
Mount Pleasant's Warren Barrett said Dunbeholden are very good in defence and can be very dangerous in transition, but they have a plan.
"Everybody is up and ready. The confidence is high. There are some things we are working on in training, and so far we have been pleased with what we have been seeing.
"We have been getting consistent performances from our top players. Hopefully, all the players come through training this (last) week, and we will have our strongest 11 for the first leg of the quarter-final," Barrett commented.
He added that although their second-round form was off, the return of Jourdain Fletcher has been a boost offensively.
"The JPL is not what happened, regarding your performance in the first or second round. The important thing is to get to the playoff, and once you are in that, you have an opportunity to win the title.
"There are six quality teams left all wanting to win the title. So we just have to come out and execute on the day," he said.
In the other game between defending champions Harbour View and Humble Lion, Harbour View's coach Ludlow Bernard anticipates that his opponents will be highly motivated but said they are just as ready to retain their title.
"We defeated them twice this season. They were the team we ousted last season to get into the quarter-finals, so there is a lot of motivation on their end, but there is a challenge on my end to supersede what they have to offer," Bernard said.
Meanwhile, coach Andrew Price expects Humble Lion to be defensively sound, as they have been all season, but wants his players to be more clinical in attacks.
"To play 26 games and only concede 15 goals shows an intent to be defensively sound, but we want to be prolific and put the ball in the net. We pride ourselves on our defensive ability what we have to work on now is getting the ball in the net," he commented.
Dunbeholden take on Mount Pleasant in the first game at 5 p.m., while in the feature match Harbour View face Mount Pleasant at 7:30 p.m.