‘Jamaica is with us’ - Reggae Boyz motivated for clash with Mexico in spite of spectator absence

January 27, 2022
Jamaica’s Anthony Grant (right) is approached by Alphonso Davies of Canada during a FIFA World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Kingston on Sunday, October 10, 2021.
Jamaica’s Anthony Grant (right) is approached by Alphonso Davies of Canada during a FIFA World Cup qualifier at the National Stadium in Kingston on Sunday, October 10, 2021.
HALL
HALL
Fans in attendance at the National Stadium for the FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Jamaica and the United States of America on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. The stands will, however, be empty for the Reggae Boyz’s game against Mexico tonight.
Fans in attendance at the National Stadium for the FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Jamaica and the United States of America on Tuesday, November 16, 2021. The stands will, however, be empty for the Reggae Boyz’s game against Mexico tonight.
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For the second of four home Concacaf World Cup qualifying matches, the Reggae Boyz will face their opponents without spectators when they face Mexico at the National Stadium this evening at 7.

However, head coach Paul Hall says his players know each supporter is rooting for the team and hoping the best for them, and it is this spirit that will motivate them when they take the field.

"It is about knowing you have the support," Hall said during a virtual press conference yesterday. "We know Jamaica is behind us. We know the public want us to do well, they want us to win this game.

"So the fact that they are not there, we can still feel their spirit.

"They are our 12th man. They usually push us along, so we have to carry their spirit with us into the game.

"In the hotel, people tell them that they believe in us. This motivates the players and reminds them of the people's support."

LEAVING GRANT OUT

Hall defended his decision to leave defensive midfielder Anthony Grant out of his 23-man squad.

Hall admits he is looking to employ a more attacking style than his predecessor, Theodore Whitmore, and that he has faith in the players selected to get the job done.

"Grant is a big miss for us, as is [Je-Vaughn] Watson," he said. "The way how we want to play is the reason why there are omissions and that is no disrespect to any player.

"But the way we want to play is to be smooth and give everybody a chance to go forward, and defend, and in the fine moments of the game, give ourselves the best possible chance.

"There is a lot of other people to back people up. I believe in the squad. We have players who can play different positions and do a job out or in position. We can change the shape and still have effective players in the team."

Jamaica are sixth in the eight-team standing with seven points, seven adrift of Mexico in third place.

Although Mexico has lost their two previous outings to USA and Canada, Hall is not willing to use that to judge what they are capable of.

However, he believes their objectives for the game are similar.

"The Mexicans will come not only not to lose, but to win this game," he said. "They will see this game as winnable, which is the same attitude as ourselves.

"We respect the Mexicans and what they bring, but I will ask my team to let Mexico respect what we bring with our energy, rhythm and desire, plus the fact that we are at home.

"Mexico possess the ball well, and their movement and how they rotate, we have to be prepared.

"But in those fine movements when we are attacking, we have a plan. When we are defending we have a plan, and in transition, we want the players to know what they are doing in those moments and to be prepared."

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