Harbour View’s Caribbean Cup start pleases coach Bernard
Harbour View's head coach, Ludlow Bernard, deems their start to the Concacaf Caribbean Cup a success despite having difficulties with their preparation, which he believes hampered their performance.
The east Kingston-based Harbour View sit atop Group B's standings with four points after two matches. On Wednesday, they drew 1-1 with the Dominican Republic's Atletico Pantoja, after defeating their Jamaica Premier League (JPL) counterparts Dunbeholden 1-0 earlier.
"I wouldn't say it's been perfect in terms of the performance, but I think we've been grateful for the points we've earned. In both instances, it would have been hard-fought games, as we played Dunbeholden when we were wholly underprepared. We then played Pantoja on their home territory, which at times were difficult for us, as they were very aggressive and quick," Bernard said.
He believes that despite their superb start to the tournament, he has noticed Harbour View's poor game management, an area he wants to improve. He added that his players have shown signs of keeping the ball too long.
"The results have been favourable, and there's been a lot of lessons to be learnt, especially for some of the less-experienced players, who aren't playing in international competitions. I think we can improve our game management, as there have been instances where when we come under some pressure and regain possession of the ball, we tend to hold on to it a little bit long," he added.
Drawn in Group B alongside the quartet of Atletico Pantoja, Cibao, S.V. Robinhood and Dundeholden, the early front runners will be in action again on September 27 against Suriname's S.V. Robinhood.
According to Bernard, he will pay close attention to S.V. Robinhood's fixture against Dunbeholden on Thursday, which he will use as a guide for Harbour View's upcoming clash with their Surinamese opponents.
"We will be taking our cue from their game against Dunbeholden, and then we can do our takeaways. As it stands now, playing against them in Jamaica, we will have to be on the front foot and not be as pragmatic as we were against Pantoja," Bernard said.
Meanwhile, Bernard posits that the Concacaf Caribbean Cup is a well-needed tournament for teams such as Harbour View to close the gap between themselves and those based in the North and Central American regions.
"I think it's good for the local teams and the region. I think these are the type of football competitions necessary for the sport to grow within the region, as the Caribbean teams are behind the more-heralded North and Central American teams," Bernard shared.