‘We had a clear game plan’: Leigertwood says wins leave Benna Boys in solid position

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Mikele Leigertwood (second from left) with other members of the coaching staff following their victory over Guadeloupe on Sunday. Also pictured are Schyan Jeffers (right), Michael Donaldson (second from right) and Lenny Hewlett (left) (ABFA photo)
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By Neto Baptiste

Back-to-back wins in Group A of the Concacaf Nations League have provided the Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys with the foundation needed going into their next set of matches against Cuba, with the first on June 9 in Montserrat.

This is the belief of head coach and former player, Mikele Leigertwood, who said the team spoke at length on the importance of getting off to a solid start in their League B campaign and managed to do so with victories against Barbados and Guadeloupe.

“We spoke about it in the week leading up to the games in terms of giving ourselves a strong platform to build from, so we know we have got goals going forward and you could see the opportunities we created but we need, certainly, that foundation first, so having Nick Townsend [goalkeeper] come in such a short space of time and get two clean sheets and the back four today [Sunday] were phenomenal and everyone were really good,” he said. 

Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys rallied to a second straight victory on Sunday night with a 1-0 triumph over Guadeloupe in Montserrat, the lone strike of the match coming from Myles Weston in minute 55. The victory came just three days after their opening 1-0 triumph against Barbados in St. Lucia.

Leigertwood said the team executed well against Guadeloupe.

“We had a clear game plan and we obviously recognise the quality that Guadeloupe, certainly in their starting 11 and also coming off the bench, so we just wanted to make sure we were prepared for that both in and out of possession. We looked at some areas that we thought we could take advantage of and the boys dug in and dug deep and for all the technical and tactical stuff we possess, we showed heart, determination and bravery as well so we’re really pleased with the performance,” he said. 

The England-based coach said the unit is diligently preparing for their next clash against the 177th ranked Cuba.  

“This game was very important for us in terms of following up the performance against Barbados and probably it wasn’t the greatest of performances against Barbados but we will go and analyse Cuba very stringently and make sure we could look to exploit some of their weaknesses with our strengths,” Leigertwood said.

Sunday’s victory lifts Antigua and Barbuda to the top of the standings with six points after their two showings. The loss was Guadeloupe’s first in two showings as they slip to third in the standings with three points. Cuba lay second with three points also after two outings. Following their match on Thursday, the Benna Boys fly to Cuba for the away contest on 12 June.

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