.TCI National Footballers Seek to regroup in Nation’s League after two defeats
Ricky Hill, Head Coach of the Turks and Caicos Islands National Football Team, finds himself in a challenging position as he aims to salvage their Concacaf Nationals League campaign.
After two disappointing defeats, Hill and his team are determined to turn their fortunes around in the remaining matches.
The TCI currently languishes at the bottom of Group C, having suffered a 0-3 loss to Dominica on Tuesday at the TCI Field in Providenciales and a 1-3 defeat away to the British Virgin Islands in their opening game on September 9. With no points on the board, their hopes of advancing to the next round seem bleak, but the coach is undaunted.
Hill is now tasked with going back to the drawing board to formulate a plan to secure a maximum of six points from their two remaining games, knowing that anything less could thwart their chance of advancing.
The TCI will host the British Virgin Islands in their return leg and face Dominica once more, with dates yet to be confirmed.
In a candid assessment of his team's performance, Hill acknowledged the disappointment of conceding three goals in their recent matches. He attributed some of their struggles to inexperience, emphasizing that they have a new team with many young players who haven't had extensive time to work together.
“We have a lot of young players that have the chance to come through. We haven’t worked together for any length of time, but they gave their all,” Hill said.
One of the key issues Hill identified was their recklessness in possession, often turning the ball over too easily. He expressed the need for better quality throughout the team and stressed the importance of maintaining possession and building pressure in the opposition's half.
“We didn’t have as many strong points as I would have liked. We were reckless in possession. When it was our turn to have the ball in reasonable areas, we tend to turnover too cheaply, and so, for me, there were no positive strengths in our offensive play, but in terms of our spirit I was happy the way they tried to continue even though they were two nil and three nil down,” he said.
He added: “We need much better quality throughout our team, we need to have some concerting pressure in the opposition’s half with the ball just by taking possession and maintaining it. We very rarely strung three or four passes together.”
Hill also praised the spirit of his players, noting their determination to continue fighting even when trailing by two or three goals. However, he emphasized the need for greater cohesion within the team, from the defensive unit to the midfield and the strike force.
The challenges faced by the TCI include the difficulty of consistent training due to various factors, including players plying their trade overseas. Hill underscored the importance of working cohesively as a unit in each part of the field, from the strikers to the midfield and the defense.
While Hill found some positives in their defensive competency, he lamented the team's lack of maturity in understanding game situations, calling for a more balanced approach between attacking and defending.
As the TCI strives to salvage their Concacaf Nationals League campaign, Ricky Hill and his team are aware that improvement is needed in multiple facets of their play. With determination and focused effort, they hope to secure the maximum six points in their remaining matches and keep their hopes of advancing alive.
He is well aware of what is to be done to get his squad up to speed to meet the next two assignments.
“We have to score anytime we attack, and make sure we do not concede for sure…make sure that we stay in the game for longer periods. So, I am hoping that these are the little things that we can take going forward,” Hill noted.