“We’re making progress”- Lady Jags Head Coach enthused by recent wins
By Avenash Ramzan
After two authoritative victories to start the Concacaf Women’s World Cup Qualifiers, Head Coach Dr. Ivan Joseph said he is “pleased” with the progress of the Lady Jags.
The senior national Women’s team defeated Dominica 4-0 and followed up with a commanding 7-0 drubbing of the Turks and Caicos Islands to command the top spot in Group F, being the only team in the five-team Group yet to concede a goal.
“This is the problem with being a high performance coach- you’re never satisfied, you might be pleased, but satisfaction is an elusive goal. We’re making progress and I’m pleased with where we are at this stage in our process,” Dr. Joseph told News Room Sport during an exclusive interview on Tuesday.
The Head Coach said the team entered the qualifiers with a number of specific goals, and after two games, most of the boxes have been ticked.
Interestingly, the Lady Jags had “two very different line-ups” for the two encounters, as the management set-up looked to forge the best possible combination.
“So number one was to assess talent- who needs to be here, who needs improvement, what do we need to do. Number two was to build cohesion and chemistry. Both those boxes were ticked,” Dr. Joseph explained.
“And then the most important box was to put ourselves in a position to advance from this round. We won both games; we did not concede a goal. All three of those things I thought were big wins for us.”
The Lady Jags are now on a break and will get back into action in April against Nicaragua and Trinidad and Tobago with the hope of being the lone team to advance to the next stage of the qualifiers, which also serve as a gateway to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
Looking ahead to those remaining two games, Dr. Joseph said fitness is a concern that needs to be addressed, as is being clinical in finishing.
“We’re not fit enough as a team,” the Head Coach observed.
“We could have seen the level of play drop off from the first half to the second half against Dominica. Our quality of execution, our decision-making all of those things fall away when you’re not fit.”
“Number two, and this is important, we were not clinical enough in front of the six-yard box and in front of goal. We missed a couple of opportunities that we could have put away. When you play a team like Nicaragua or Trinidad, you have to make those chances count, as you only get so many.”
To get the squad in peak condition for those April engagements, assessment forms have been sent to all players to evaluate where they are “psychologically, technically, tactically, physically”, Dr. Joseph indicated.
“And then it’s up to them to get to the work; whether they work with our strength and conditioning coach or their people, they have to put the work in.”
This, Dr. Joseph highlighted, will be followed an encampment period before the Lady Jags hit the field again.