Former coach commends Benna Boys on tough CNL victory

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By Neto Baptiste

Former national captain and defender Ivor Luke has commended the senior national football team on their 2-1 victory over Aruba in the CONCACAF Nations League contested here earlier this week.

Luke, also a former national head coach, said he was especially impressed with the mental toughness of the players, given the team had, just three days earlier, suffered a humiliating 6-0 loss to Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz.

“It’s not easy to come back from that type of destructive blow in just about three days, so they must be commended. The performance was a lot of heart, which is something I have been saying about locals. They wear their badges on their sleeves and they are going to give their full effort,” he said.

“The physical recovery process of the players

[has]

to be looked at, because I thought that too much of our men [players] pulled up. Recovery should have started immediately after the [Jamaica] game, because our next game would have been three days after in the hot sun,” he added. 

The former player, known for his no-nonsense approach in defense during his on-field days, also commended the coaching staff but highlighted some concerns over the positioning of some players.

“I must commend the coaching staff for getting the players mentally up to fight so quickly after such a drubbing. I am glad for the win. I am proud of the guys and how they performed. I must caution though, the set-up that I see and maybe they have it right, but I do not believe how the team was set-up that it [works] well for us against better opponents,” he said.

“The problem I have is not with the formation, but basically with the defense. Across the defense you have virtually a player who has played outside left all his life playing central, a defensive midfield playing central, a defensive midfield playing right and a lot of the times they were very confused,” Luke added.

A second half conversion from striker Tevaughn Harriette propelled the Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys to a 2-1 victory over Aruba.  D’Andre Bishop had given the Benna Boys the advantage in the eighth minute when he sent his angled effort into the far left-hand corner of the net from just outside the six yards box.

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