Barbados’ win over Curaçao in Wednesday night’s Scotiabank Caribbean Football Union Men’s Caribbean Cup Round 1 match was no fluke. So says Head Coach Colin Harewood when he spoke to members of the media during a post-game press conference.
After beating the visitors, one-nil at the Usain Bolt Sport Complex, Coach Harewood said that the win was dedicated to former national coach Randolph Cox and made possible through serious planning. “To be honest, the motivation was there and we planned for the game. The way we played was all about planning for the game. The motivation came from losing one of our colleagues, Randolph Cox. We just drove that into the players that the game was dedicated to Cox. We are going out there and we are going to play for Cox. They way he coached is the way we played. He coached with a lot of passion, he liked to win and we just went out there to play for Cox, play for Barbados and then play for ourselves and the players went out there and executed. We sat down and we planned the game and I think we played according to how we planned so I am comfortable with the victory.”
Going on to say that it was the team’s first game in a long time and that the cohesion was not there as yet, Harewood said that he was pleased with the way the team played. Revealing that certain players did not take the field in the match due to the structure of the game plan, the interim coach said that he knew Barbados would have been under pressure, calling Curaçao a technically sound and organised side. “We knew that they play off of the ball. We knew that they like to pass the ball and move. We knew that inside the game, we need to have numbers behind the ball all the time. We know that sometimes they like to carry the ball in one area and then switch it long. We knew exactly how Curaçao would come and play us and they played right into our plan. We decided that we were going to defend and we know that we would get at least one or two opportunities to score. And once we did, we would still stick in there and defend. As I said, it was more structure than just playing the football. It was a plan. As a coach, this is the first time, with a captain, that I put so much into a game by just planning the game,” Harewood said.
Blackpool player and Barbados captain Emmerson Boyce said that he was thankful for the Barbadian public for coming out to support the team as there were close to 2000 persons through the gates. Noting that the locals needed to continue supporting the team, Boyce said that although it was not a flashy win, the team did their jobs to come away victorious. “At the end of the day we won the game. So what else do you want? Everybody sacrificed themselves for the team. We sacrificed individual talent and individual flair for the win and I feel that’s more important than anything else. If this team wants to progress, then everybody has to do their bit. They have got to work hard. This is a game where we are playing against opposition that plays in higher leagues and if we went out there to try and match them, they would beat us. Simple! Sometimes hard work beats talent. On paper, they are much more talented than us. We showed tonight that we out-worked them. I think the key thing is that we won the game one-nil and we need to get behind the team and keep supporting,” Boyce said.
Just before the Barbados team had their say, Curaçao Team Manager, Patrick Kluivert said that he was quite disappointed with the outcome as his team had done their homework and analysed the Barbados team. Giving credit to the local side, Kluivert said that it all boiled down to not making the most of their opportunities at goal. “We had a lot of balls lost in the midfield and also through the side defenders. They easily gave the ball away and the first thing you learn is don’t give the ball easily away and that’s what we did. Congratulations to Barbados! I think they did a good job. They won the first game. Physically they were very good, very fast players and we lacked in scoring a goal because we had opportunities,” he said. (MP)