Unbeaten in World Cup qualifiers, coach praises Benna Boyz. "We know we have got quality!"

By April 02, 2021

Antigua and Barbuda Head Coach Mikele Leigertwood has praised his team for the quality of their play that saw them go unbeaten in the latest round of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers and go top of Group A over El Salvador and Grenada.

The Benna Boyz have four points from their two matches having beaten US Virgin Islands 3-0 on March 27. They drew 2-2 against Montserrat on March 24. El Salvador, meanwhile, trail on goal difference following their 1-1 draw with Montserrat on March 28 after previously defeating Grenada 2-0 on March 25.

The 38-year-old England-born Antiguan, who represented the Caribbean nation 11 times between 2008 and 2012, said given the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, he was chuffed at the way the team responded on the field of play.

“A lot of praise must go to the players,” he said, “because of the pandemic a lot of players haven’t played for a long time so to play as well as they did, they deserve a lot of praise. I am delighted with the performances.”

Leigertwood said he was delighted with the way the team progressed from their 2-2 draw with Montserrat to trounce the USVI.

“The Montserrat game showed that we had more quality. If you look at the goals, we’re obviously disappointed with the goals we conceded because they came from our own mistakes but I think it showed when we started to get the ball down and play football and played to our strengths, I think that was the catalyst to us being quite dominant in the USVI game,” he said.

“We know we have got quality. We know we’ve got players that can go and win matches and ultimately if we can stamp out our mistakes will then have bred confidence and hopefully, we can take that into the upcoming games in June.

“We’re under no illusion that there is still a lot of work to be done so we’re happy that we have given ourselves the best opportunity to move forward,” he said.

He told Sportsmax.TV today that the players were focused from the outset and highlighted that much of the team’s success was also due to how well the overseas-based and local players manage to integrate and get the desired results.

Players like Josh Parker, Zaine Francis Angol and Zain Mohammed, who are based abroad had a positive influence on the team, he said, as well as the experience of players like Tamorley Ziggy Thomas and Peter Byers, who helped the younger players in the squad.

As he looks forward to those games in June, the cautiously optimistic coach hopes to convene a number of camps to prepare the players as soon as some of them recover from muscular injuries suffered during the last two matches.

He also plans to spend some time on video analysis of their play in the recent games as well as those of their next opponents Grenada and El Salvador.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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