“We have to concentrate for 90 minutes. It is not that these players are not capable, but they have to apply themselves in the game
Vere United’s strong start to the Jamaica Premier League (JPL) under coach Donovan Duckie continued after their 3-1 win over Clarendon rivals Humble Lion at the UWI/JFF Captain Horace Burrell Centre of Excellence yesterday.
Ricardo Messam with a brace (27th and 57th minutes) and an added-time goal from Anjay Gayle made light work of their opponents and moved them to second in the table with leaders Harbour View, who have the same points total but lead on goal difference. The defeat left Humble Lion at the bottom of the 11-team table with no points after four matches.
Andrew Vanzie netted Humble Lion’s goal from the penalty spot in the 37th minute.
Despite Vere’s enviable start to the season, where they have amassed eight points from four games, with two wins and two draws, Duckie says that although expectations and confidence have grown, their ambitions this season remain the same.
“It is a young team with some experienced players,” he said. “We still lack a lot of quality, but these guys are doing the job and continue to get a lot of points, and I am very happy for that.
“Naturally, it (expectation) will grow, and they are going to grow in confidence. If you look at the last three games before today, you can see that we were a lot more positive and more confident on the ball and in our movements. We did well in our individual battles, and we are growing from strength to strength.
“But we don’t want expectations to get too high. We want to keep things grounded and continue to build on this. Vere is a long-term project, and we are trying to build a team to win the league in three years.”
Humble Lion head coach Andrew Price was critical of his team’s application.
NOT SHARP ENOUGH “We shot ourselves in the foot,” he said. “To lose a player when we were in the game and go down to 10 men was always going to be very hard. And after the sending off, we kept on making silly mistakes, and on the dead balls, we were not sharp enough as the goals came from two dead-ball situations.
“We have to concentrate for 90 minutes. It is not that these players are not capable, but they have to apply themselves in the game.
“We are going to have to continue making the changes, giving people opportunities until we can find the right core of players.
“We have to give other people opportunities because the people we are depending on are not giving us what we want, so we will have to look for some people who can start giving us that cutting edge so we can start getting three points.”
Price said the remaining fixtures in the round are now must-win games.
“Four games gone and seven to play, we will have to try and see if we can get maximum points from the rest of the games,” he said. “All is not lost, but we are way behind, and we have to start making a move now. We have to continue to work hard and see what we get for the next seven games.”
Yesterday’s JPL results Humble Lion 1-3 Vere United
Molynes United 2-2 Mount Pleasant
Today’s game Tivoli Gardens v Portmore United 3:30 p.m.