It's back to the training pitch for the Bajan Tridents.
And Head Coach Russell Latapy has no intention of backing down as they look to the future and re-engaging the players.
However, he made an appeal for the entire football family to work alongside the Barbados Football Association and the management team as they strived to make local football better in the face of the pandemic.
The Bajan Tridents fell 8-1 to Bermuda in the Preliminary Round of the Concacaf Gold Cup on July 2; a devastating result for the senior men. A number of pundits and former administrators of the game have since called for Latapy’s resignation and that of the current administration.
“It is understandable that those who have invested and have an interest in football are hurt by the result, so we understand that. They have their view and we have to respect that view. But, we need the whole football family to work together for us to achieve success. We understand the criticism, but we’re saying along with the criticism if you can come and support us to become better, we will also appreciate that,” he said during a post-game press conference.
Latapy, who has been with the senior men’s team for the last two years, said the result had knocked them back a bit, but it would be used as a lesson moving forward. He said over the coming weeks, he intended to have a more in-depth analysis of what went wrong and would improve going forward, as he took full responsibility for the devastating result.
”There is nobody, and we understand the country is hurting as well because it is a very disappointing result for us, but I can assure everyone there is nobody who is hurting more than the players. This is something we’re all part of and something they have to live with. I know how much they’re hurting but they want to get back on the pitch and they want to redeem themselves based on the last performance,” he said.
And while he noted one good game did not make you a great team, as one bad result did not make you a bad team either, the midfield wizard said it was time to get back to training. With a number of young players set to leave on scholarships later this month and next month, Latapy said this was an opportunity to find new players and keep strengthening the team.
“We’ve tried to develop a style based on what we think is our strengths and weaknesses. In terms of our system, playing through the midfield has given us a lot more stability. In terms of playing with the ball, we’ve become a team that likes and wants to play with the ball, and we’ve been improving steadily based on that way of playing. We need to get the boys out on the training pitch and work on some of the things that we saw in the game that needs improving, and the things we’re doing well, we keep improving on them,” he said.
The head coach also noted while some people have bemoaned the number of overseas players in the squad, he said when they came in the past, there had been no complaints.
“We’ve been given a lot of credit in the past for the way we’ve done things. I think unfortunately when you get a result like this, everything comes to the surface, and a lot of people who are out there just waiting for something to happen comment about it.
“Based on past experiences, we’ve gelled really well as a team, and we’ve integrated the foreign players in a really good way. There haven’t been any complaints from anyone in the past in relation to how that went, so I think that is possibly an unfair criticism based on one game,” he said.