PASADENA, California – Canada Head Coach John Herdman was all smiles following his team’s opening match at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.
One could not blame him either, considering Canada collected a 4-0 win over Martinique to put themselves into second place in Group A behind Mexico. It was pretty much everything Herdman was hoping for in Canada’s quest for a second Gold Cup title.
“I liked the clean sheet and four goals,” said Herdman in his post-match press conference.
“It was great for the players, they were excited. They wanted to make a statement in the first game. You have to win the first match and that was the only thing in our mind, I’m just happy the way they won the game, that was important,” added Herdman.
A pair of goals from Jonathan David, plus scores from Junior Hoilett and Scott Arfield made for enjoyable viewing for the Canada boss.
“Martinique had a lot of threat in transition, great pace, but I think there were times when we showed great quality and as a football fan, not just as a coach, I enjoyed watching that. The boys went out there and expressed themselves,” said Herdman.
While there were many positives for Canada, Herdman acknowledged that there were some nervy moments, particularly when Martinique had a trio of chances to pull level right before the halftime whistle.
“I think it was concentration. You could see that they started looking at the clock and started looking at going in 1-0 at halftime, so the movement stopped. We stopped controlling the tempo of our possession and I was a bit disappointed, but it’ll be a learning for them. I think they know that we have to stick to our identity and then it’ll take care of itself,” conclude Herdman.