CLEVELAND, Ohio.- Guyana Manager Michael Johnson spoke to the press immediately following his side’s 4-2 loss to Panama in Group D of the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, highlighting the need for improvement.
“I’m disappointed,” Johnson said, “because I know that we are so much better than that, particularly the way we passed the ball. I cannot doubt the work-rate of the players. The players again worked so hard. But we need to be more intelligent and more efficient. At this level, you get punished for mistakes.”
Even through the disappointment, positivity remains a cornerstone of this Guyana team, which made history by qualifying for the first major tournament in the nation’s history.
Johnson was asked how he and his side will maintain that positivity, knowing they will be playing for pride in the last group stage game against Trinidad and Tobago in Kansas City.
“It’s easy for me,” said the manager. “Number one, you’ve got to enjoy this moment. It’s the first time we’re in a Gold Cup. And number two, there are players in that dressing room who have done themselves a world of justice.”
“I can tell you that our team will change dramatically for our final game,” Johnson said, “so there’s a number of opportunities still to come, and that’s what a tournament like this one brings, opportunities for players to really put themselves on the global map.”
“I’d like to also think that we’ve done a lot of people proud,” Johnson continued. “It was great looking around the stadium, hearing the cheers for our team. In addition to making our own nation proud, I hope we’ve picked up a few supporters here as well.”