Head coach of the Barbados Football Association’s National Senior Men’s Russell “The Little Magician” Latapy said it wasn’t his magic, but rather the players “trusting the process” that saw them through to victory on Thursday night.
The Bajan Tridents walked over (French) St Martin 4-0 in their first game at the BFA’s Wildey Turf in the Concacaf Nations League Group Phase. Barbados, drawn in League C of Group A, is on a quest to earn promotion into League B and earn a spot in the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Following the team’s stellar performance, Latapy, who has more than two decades of coaching experience, said the Tridents achieved their main goal which was to win the game at home.
“I’m always happy with winning football games, that’s why we are here. I thought the boys worked really hard especially in the second part of the game. We started back brightly and we controlled that part of the game. I want us to be more prolific and efficient.
While he admitted the team was not yet the “finished product” and that they needed to get a little better, Latapy said they showed positive signs, especially in the backline.
“I’m happy that we played at home in front of our fans and were able to score four goals and get a clean sheet; that’s the aspect of the game I’m happy with. There is still a lot of work to be done. There are a lot of things to correct, but in general the objective was to get three points and we were able to get it,” he said jubilantly.
Latapy who gained 81 caps for the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors also noted the team’s defensive structure was solid most of the time.
“It is football and without mistakes, there are no goals. There were one or two lapses in concentration, but we didn’t suffer a goal. We kept a clean, sheet but I was happy with the defence structure because it allowed us to dominate the game. I prefer to play with the ball than chasing it, and that is one aspect of the game I was very pleased about.”
Meanwhile, international striker Nick Blackman, who scored a brace in his debut with the home side, said he was thrilled to be a part of the Tridents and felt right at home.
“The response took me a little bit by surprise. Obviously having my mum and dad flying over from England to watch, and my family who lives over here coming to support me meant a lot. I think it is important going forward that we keep putting these performances in and we can build momentum and give the fans a team they can be proud of and can be a force to reckon with,” Blackman said.
“There is so much talent in the team going forward. We have really good players. As the weeks and months go on and we train together, I think we are going to only get better. I think there were some positive signs, but we have a lot to work on as the coach stated,” he said.