By Neto Baptiste
Head coach of the Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys, England-based Mikele Leigertwood said players are motivated ahead of their Concacaf Nations League clash against Guyana despite Saturday’s “tough” 3-2 loss to Puerto Rico here in Antigua.
Antigua and Barbuda are second from bottom in the standings with four points after losing three, drawing one and winning one of their five matches to date.
“I haven’t had to motivate them because the players are highly motivated; they want to go and do well, they want to try and finish as strong as possible. In terms of our preparation, we managed to get out of Antigua Saturday night so [Sunday] was a recovery day for us where the players got to go into the pool, stretch off, have massages and so forth, so the players are in a good place at the moment,” he said.
Saturday’s loss means that Antigua and Barbuda will not advance to the next round of the competition. The home team clawed their way back from two goals down to level the scores in the second half against Puerto Rico on Saturday at the football association’s technical center.
However, a Wilfredo Rivera strike secured three points for the visiting Puerto Ricans.
Leigertwood said it was a tough loss in a match they were hoping to win.
“We put in a decent shift in the game against Puerto Rico and we showed great spirit and character to come back but, unfortunately, we got undone by another goal just as we started to build momentum. Obviously, the results happen and it is what it is, but now we’ve got another game to prepare for and it doesn’t get any easier unfortunately,” he said.
The Benna Boys play Guyana at the Félix Sánchez Olympic Stadium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on Tuesday at 8pm.