ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Head coach of Antigua Barracuda FC, Tom Curtis, is hoping that the country’s lone professional outfit can turn their season around following their 1-0 victory over Charleston Battery on Sunday night, breaking a nine-game losing streak in the United Soccer Leagues’ (USL) Pro Division.
Striker Peter “Big Pete” Byers, who did not feature in the team’s loss to the visiting Battery team on Friday at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds, netted the lone goal of the contest in minute 47.
Barracuda will play Rochester Rhinos in the first of a two-game road trip on Wednesday before they take on Harrisburg City Islanders on Saturday. Curtis is hoping for victories in both fixtures.
“We are hoping to get positive results because it is about results at the end of the day with Barracuda because we are a professional side and we need to expose the young players, but we need to get results and positive results. We are hoping that on the back of Sunday’s victory we can go on and get on a real winning streak and come back to Antigua having won all four games,” he said.
“We are still aiming to get ourselves into the playoff position and that’s what we were aiming for at the beginning of the season and that is what we are aiming to do. There have been a number of obstacles in our way, some of them unavoidable but as I said, we are striving to get results week in and week out and we will make changes if changes need to be made,” Curtis added.
To date, Barracuda FC have won only three of their 12 fixtures, losing nine in what Curtis said has been a season of ups and downs. One such factor he said is not being able to put away chances.
“We have had some good performances recently mixed with some poor performances but last night (Sunday) was excellent. We certainly deserved to win; a little bit disappointed we didn’t score more goals because we had created plenty of chances yet again, but we managed to come away with a win and when you have been on a losing streak like we have with the Barracuda then any win is a good win for us,” he said.
“We can’t seem to put the ball into the back of the net and yes, it is disconcerting; but it is something that we work hard on in training and nobody is missing chances on purpose and as long as those guys keep getting into the positions and keep trying their best and keep getting into positions for getting into those responsibilities then I am sure goals will come,” the coach added.
The idea, according to Curtis, is to be competitive and win matches as, at the end of the day, being a professional team means bringing home positive results.
“There have been a number of factors that have maybe contributed to the poor results and those are factors that we are certainly looking into and looking to address. We want to be competitive, we want to be getting results in the Barracuda and it is important that we do and not only to keep the franchise running and attract the sponsors but also to develop the players who play on the national side,” he said.
“We can’t have a team that is going to be losing every week and if we do then we need to address that in terms of getting quality in,” Curtis added.
In Friday’s 2-0 loss to Battery, Barracuda were done in by second half goals by Jose Cuevas and JC Mack.