#Article (Archive)

Another Big Match!

Jun 6, 2008, 5:50 AM

Coach Paul Put has advised his team to take their progress one match at a time. He said the 1-1 draw against Liberia last Sunday was in part down to hard luck for the dominant Gambian team. That now has to be left behind and all thoughts and eyes focussed on the match against Senegal this coming Sunday. According to Coach Put, all we can presently gain from the recent encounter with Liberia is a knowledge of our own misjudgments and technical weaknesses. We should assess our errors and weaknesses and turn them around to our own advantage come Sunday's encounter with our long-time rivals Senegal. Coach Put's advice is correct because the match will be all about concentration and even if the coach is not yet fully aware of what Senegal can do we the Gambians know all too well that they will capitalise on any mistake. They will also try to make us lose our concentration and poise. We must not allow that to happen this time around; hence the need for the fullest concentration and show of tenacity throughout the match.

Points to remember are that we must ensure that that we take all three points in the home leg of this match because our rivals will do everything in their power to grab victory in the return leg. This considered we must ensure that we do not let our opponents get an away goal and try to take at least a two-goal advantage to the game in Senegal.

This may be a tall order but it is not impossible to achieve if we show determination and concentration.

Another point to remember that the Teranga Lions have recently been demoralised and embarrassingly vanquished at the African Cup of Nations in January. As a result they were widely castigated at home and virtually disowned by their own government.

They indeed may have lost some key players, a good steady coach, instrumental FA chiefs and some of their pride following the debacle. We must be aware that they might be pouncing back like wounded lions on this first important opportunity since their defeat. In addition to determination therefore we should engage with strategies of containment.

Our supporters are encouraged to come out in large numbers and fire up our boys. It is amazing what the presence of passionate supporters can do for a team! Lest we forget organisers are urged to take steps to prevent incidents of heat exhaustion, over crowding and over exuberant crowd behaviour. Supporters must also protect themselves by being orderly, finding adequate drinking water and keeping out of the sun as much as possible. We must avoid trouble at all costs.

Finally we wish to seize this opportunity to extend our heartfelt sympathies to our Liberian brothers and sisters some of whom lost their lives or suffered injury at the JFK Stadium during the Liberia/Gambia game. May their souls rest in peace and may those injured enjoy a speedy recovery. 


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