The hopes of the Reggae Boyz in the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup is hanging by a thread following 0-1 losses in their first two Zone A matches. Tyrone Marshall, the man who captained the team to the Digicel Caribbean Championships which qualified the country for this tournament, shares his thoughts on the team and its chances of advancing ahead of the must win game against El Salvador on Friday, July 10, 2009.
It is really difficult at this time to be optimistic and positive but we have no choice. Obviously, the situation is tough with one match to go having already lost two, but we are not out of the mix. We still have the opportunity mathematically to finish even second if everything falls into place.
The most important thing is that we have to go and win the match and that is the part that we can do right now to ensure that things fall into place. Any other result for us would be disastrous. A win for us by a 2-0 margin and a win for Canada over Costa Rica would see us finishing second. That would be great.
What I am picking up from my teammates is that everyone is coming to grips with the situation and what needs to be done. Looking back at the two previous games, even though we lost, I think we played well enough to get positive results. We had good chances in both games and did not score so we have paid the price for that. It is the little mistakes that we have been making that have been costing us. These are some of the things that will happen when you have not had a lot of time to train together.
We have an opportunity and everyone is upbeat. Going into the game tomorrow, I know everyone will give 110 per cent. It is a do or die game and my experience with the national team has shown me that any time we are in a situation where our backs are against the wall, we come out fighting and do extremely well, so I am definitely excited about the prospects of us coming out with a victory. I would rather take an ugly win than a pretty loss and we really need to get that done tomorrow.
Last night I went back to my room and I was thinking to myself, weren’t the US in a similar predicament to the one we are in right now? They lost 1-3 to Italy and 0-3 to Brazil and going into their final match they needed to win 3-0 and hope that their nearest rivals lose for them to get to the next round. They took care of business for themselves and things fell into place. They even advanced to the final and almost ended up beating Brazil. If we can draw inspiration from that it would be great.
When we get back together today as a group I will bring that to them as one of the senior players and one of the leaders in the team.
Jamaica progressing from here means more to me than you would ever know. Wearing the colours of the country is always a source of pride and every time I don the Jamaican jersey I give 110 per cent and leave everything on the field. I have never held anything back.
I had planned for this to be my last tournament and coming into tomorrow’s game I don’t want it to be 72 caps and done. I am going to make sure that I give even more within the team concept and rally others even more. Sometimes what the team needs is a little catalyst, a little spark, and hopefully I can be that.
Looking into the eyes of my teammates, I see that hunger for success, that willingness to do it for the country. I know that to you looking from the outside in, some are saying that “we do not see the same fire and desire”, but it is there. We just need that first goal and things will open from there. Sometimes, when you get so many chances and near chances and you are missing, the head will drop for a while, because you know you have done well but have very little to show for it, but an early goal should be the start for us.
I know we have always been able to count on our people for support in good and bad times. We expect nothing different tomorrow. Thanks for your support and stay tuned as arm in arms we fight on.