CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – Heading into its final game of Group A of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup against Cuba, Canada Head Coach John Herdman believes that his team is fully focused on the task at hand, which is a full three points and a berth in the quarterfinals.
“I think there’s excitement there, it’s the last game, we have to take care of our business,” said Herdman in his pre-match press conference. “The team is set up to do that and that’s the exciting thing. We’ve got players with fresh legs, they are mentally fresh, we know that we are coming into a cauldron in terms of heat and a Cuban team that is playing for pride, which is always a tough opponent.”
Herdman says he also expects to see an energetic performance from the players who did not feature in the previous match, a 3-1 defeat to Mexico.
“The mindset has been taking care of the little details to make sure we are focused. Watching the boys train yesterday, there’s a real hunger in the guys who didn’t start against Mexico. I think we’re confident and just have to take care of business and get that quarterfinal set up,” said Herdman.
Facing Canada is a Cuba team that is yet to win in the 2019 Gold Cup, but certainly was a threat in attack in its previous encounter with Martinique.
Herdman has been stressing to his group that overlooking Cuba and not paying attention to the finest of details could make for an upsetting day.
“If you’ve been 20 days together, that cabin fever sets in. You’re eating the same rice and chicken, you’re doing the same things, it can be tough. Cuba will be a test of our concentration. Players have to stay focused, we know the talent is there to get us through to the quarterfinals, so my job as a coach is to turn up the heat a little bit internally,” concluded Herdman.