Benjamin: Premier Division race still open

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By Neto Baptiste

“Do not count us out.” That was the sentiment of coach for the PIC Liberta Blackhawks Rowan “Porridge” Benjamin despite his team’s dismal start to this year’s Premier Division competition.

The defending champions are yet to win a match after six showings in the top flight as they sit second from bottom in the 10-team standings with just three points.

Benjamin said that, based on the current standings, his team is still very much in the race.

“You go there and win a couple of matches and you’re back in business because the front runners are not very far, so it is not that one team is running away with the competition. It is still going to be a very tight race, and Liberta is normally a very strong team in the second half of the competition,” he said. 

Blackhawks have scored six but have allowed 11 goals in their six matches to date and are some 10 points adrift of the leaders, Greenbay Hoppers.

Benjamin believes that breaking the ice with a victory over Richie Rich Five Islands this weekend could turn his team’s fortunes around.

“We are hoping that we can get a victory and then that will probably help us to turn the corner. As it is now, it is not coming and we just have to keep plugging away, we have to keep working at it. I can say that I was very pleased with the game against Ottos Rangers where, in the last 45 minutes, we really showed what we can do,” he said.

“We created a chance that should have scored and won that match, but it didn’t happen, and in the last game against Hoppers, we created a very early chance in the first five minutes and we’re talking about chances that are bread and butter for centre forwards. It didn’t happen again, but I was very pleased with the 90 minutes,” the coach added.

As for those supporters already calling for him to be sacked, Benjamin said fans will always be fans.

“But I must say overall that it is nothing to be alarmed about because these things happen. We are a champion team and everyone will be coming and gunning for the champion team and we have to be prepared,” he said.

Blackhawks will face Five Islands in the first game of a double-header on Saturday at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG). Parham and Swetes will clash in the feature contest.

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