LOS ANGELES, California – Jamaica Head Coach Theodore Whitmore is focused on one goal heading into Tuesday night’s match against Curacao at Banc of California Stadium - advancing to the knockout stage.
“If you look at the group, three teams have a chance to qualify for the next round,” Whitmore emphasized in Monday’s pre-match press conference. “It’s neither here nor there whether we win the group or are runner-up, the most important thing, right now, is to get out of the group.”
A win against Curacao will assure Jamaica advances to the knockout stage, but its place in the group could still depend on the result of the preceding match between Honduras and El Salvador.
“We can’t look on the Honduras-El Salvador game going forward, this is a must-win or at least for Jamaica get a point out of the game so we expect Curacao to come with everything at us,” said Whitmore.
“Well, no doubt about it, Curacao have quality in their team,” added the former Jamaican national team player. “We have a game to play tomorrow, we have a tough team to play against. We just have to go out there and put our best foot forward.”
Whitmore described his team’s attitude as positive and upbeat ahead of the pivotal clash. He also praised his players for the work done up until this point.
Leon Bailey and Michael Hector were brought up as injury concerns and are under watch for the upcoming match.
When asked about the upward progress of Concacaf teams, Whitmore pointed to the evolution of the region and why his team must not be overconfident with Curacao.
“Everybody has to be in tip-top shape,” said Whitmore. “We can’t take anything for granted, we can’t take anybody for granted because everybody’s evolved.”