“Trust the process”.
That was the reminder given by Head Coach of the Barbados Football Association’s senior Tridents Russell Latapy to the players at the end of their group phase in this year's Concacaf Nations League.
“During the team talk, one of the things I said to the boys is that we have to stick to and believe in the way that we play. For me as a coach, the fans they come and see the results at the end of the match. Results are more than that for me; it is a part of how we develop and part of how we grow. Don’t get me wrong, I want to win every game that I play but it is a process. Once I can see that and I get all from the players then I am satisfied as a coach. And once we get the process right, we will get more victories in the long run. The result is important because it takes us and gives us continuation, but I am certain, and I think the players are believing in that and they’ve shown that, if we do things the right way and get the process correct, then we become a better team,” he said.
Latapy was speaking to the media following the team’s 3-0 victory over the Cayman Islands Turtles in Group A of League C. While both teams ended the competition on 12 points each, Barbados forged ahead to League B on goal difference.
This year’s Nations League served as a qualifier for the region’s top 16 teams to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup. However, in order to advance, the second-place finisher of League B will face the first-place finisher of League C during the FIFA window in March 2020.
Following a home-and-away series, the four matchup winners will advance to the second round, where they will face the third-place finisher of League A during the window in June in another home-and-away series, at the end of which the winners will qualify for the 2021 Gold Cup.
League A will comprise of eight teams, with the two top teams from each of the four groups qualifying directly for the Gold Cup. League B, which will feature four teams, will see the winner of each of the four groups also qualify directly for the Gold Cup.
Latapy said he believed all parties involved understood they needed to be patient.
“All credit must go to the players because it is difficult when a new coach comes in with new ideas and you buy into it straight away. If the ideas are different from the ones that you were working with before, it normally takes a lot of time to get things right.
“But these players, they’ve come and I’ve been hard on them, and I’ve been demanding of them and sometimes I’ve been really hard on them, but they put their heads down, they roll their sleeves up and they give me what I ask for. I appreciate that from the players and I look forward to continued support and commitment from them,” he said openly.
“We have a lot of young players and we’re asking them to play at a different level and with a different intensity and that takes a bit of time. We’re here to do the best we can and win football games. We want to do it in a manner that the crowd enjoys; we want to play attractive football,” he added.
The senior national team is officially on a break following their final encounter on Tuesday night. However, when official training resumes, Latapy intends to push them just as hard.
“We know that we have a game in March, home and away, and hopefully we can get past that and have another game in June, and hopefully we can get past that and qualify for the Gold Cup. We’re going to aim big, we’re going to dream big and we’re going to work towards our goals.
“Right now the players are going to go away. We’ve had a very intense period during these last three weeks having the boys training at times, three, four, five, six times in a row. They would go back to their clubs and we will sit down with the president, the general secretary, the technical director and we’re going to strategize the direction we want to go from here, and sometime in January we can get back to training and start working towards playing our home and away. By that time we should also know who our opponents will be,” he said.
Additionally, Latapy said he had not ruled out including more overseas-based players into the squad.
With the players we currently have; their professionalism, what they pass on to the group, what the players get from them, they’re fundamental to where we want to go. [Tuesday night was] a good example in Hallam getting two goals for us. But whatever players we invite, they have to fit into what we’re trying to build and develop. They have to fit in to play the style we want to play and they have to gel with their teammates.
“We’re not going to get one player who is coming in and he has to disrupt what we’re trying to achieve and what we’re trying to build. If we can get players who are going to contribute and help enhance what we’re trying to do then yes we would get them in. If that is not the case, we’re just going to work with the players we have here and hopefully we can have more time and develop what we have at home,” he said.