ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Antigua Barracuda FC Head coach Tom Curtis has said that although the team’s defence is not a “concern,” it is obviously an area they will have to work on as they continue to play in the United Soccer Leagues (Pro) Division and in turn, prepare for the upcoming 2012 World Cup Semi-final Qualifiers.
Speaking with OBSERVER Sports following matches against the Charlotte Eagles last Thursday and Saturday, Curtis said defensive organisation is one area in which the team has always excelled and that it’s just a matter of getting it back up to par.
“It’s not a concern. It’s something obviously we need to work on. Defensive organisation has sort of been a cornerstone of our success over the last 14 months and that’s something I don’t want to let slip. In terms of personnel, we have got the guys working hard and I know we need to perhaps bring other players into the squad or develop the players we have already got in the squad; so a little bit disappointed; (we) conceded four goals over the weekend, but that’s something we need to address and work on,” he said.
Barracuda loss 2-0 to Eagles on Saturday with both goals coming as a result of defensive blunders on either side of the halves. The ‘Cudas were however triumphant, 3-2, in Thursday’s contest.
Curtis expressed disappointment in both the results and the performance of the squad.
“Well, I said to them after the game on Saturday that I was a little disappointed with the results and to be honest, a little disappointed with the performance as well. I was hoping that we would be able to win both games and I think we are in a position now where we are capable of competing with teams like that and I think perhaps last year we weren’t and I think my expectations are a lot higher now because I know because I know the players have improved,” he said.
“Having said that, the performance on Thursday was fantastic and I think maybe I am expecting too much of the players. They did put a lot of hard work into the game on Thursday.”
Antigua Barracuda will turn their attention to a road trip that will see them come face-to-face with Wilmington Hammerheads on Wednesday night at Legion Stadium, followed by a trip to battle the Charleston Battery on Friday night at Blackbaud Stadium.
“It will be tough. Every single game is tough and I think the expectations we have at the moment in terms of winning games is really a result of the improvements we have shown over the last 14 months. So yeah, I think it will be tough but hopefully it is something we can cope with,” Curtis said.
Before the ‘Cudas return home, they will also be competing in the CONCACAF Champions League in Trinidad from May 6 to 10.