20 01 20

first_imgA leader by nature, national senior team goalkeeper Andre Blake, who was appointed captain for Jamaica’s crucial Caribbean Cup qualifying match against Suriname at the National Stadium tomorrow at 6 p.m., says he is not the least bit fazed by the role. Blake will lead the team in the absence of the injured Je-Vaughn Watson, and the former Glenmuir High and Sporting Central ‘shot stopper’ says his intention is to always give his best effort for his country and help the team play with one aim. “Every time I represent the country I always give a hundred per cent on the pitch. That’s my objective. So it is an honour as a lot of people want to be in my position, and a lot of people think that they should be in my position, so when I get my chance I have to go out and prove that my selection is justified.” But despite the good feedback he has been getting from local football fans over the last year, Blake insists he is still a work in progress. “It’s great (being the number one goalkeeper) but it’s still work in progress, I am still a growing goalkeeper. Getting a lot of games has helped me to grow a lot and, hopefully, I can continue playing and develop into a goalkeeper that Jamaica can rely on for the next 10 years,” he continued. Pressure However, Blake has been in the role of captain before and knows how to handle this pressure, and he says it will be business as usual for him. “I have been captain before but this is my first role as captain at the national level. It’s a privilege, it’s an honour, so my job now is to try and get the players on the same page so we can go out and do what we have to do. For me it’s no added pressure. I think I’m a leader, I don’t need to go out and do anything out of the norm to put additional pressure, I will just be me, as I have been a leader all my life. “They (Suriname) are a good team and we will have to respect that. We cannot take them lightly, because if we take them lightly it could cost us because. ‘”These days, anybody can beat anybody on any given day. But that is one of my responsibilities, to let the players know that this is a war, we are the champions of the Caribbean, and everyone wants to beat us, so it’s about being focused and going out and giving our best. Hopefully, we can correct that and start better.”last_img read more

27 12 19

first_imgFormer Chelsea and West Ham striker Carlton Cole believes the Blues should keep hold of Diego Costa despite Antonio Conte telling the striker he was no longer wanted at the club.The Spanish international appeared to be on his way out of the club after the bust-up with his manager but the Blues have found it difficult signing a suitable replacement.Their number one target, former forward Romelu Lukaku, is on the verge of joining Manchester United in what was a bitter blow to Conte and his plans for next season.However, Cole – who now plays for Indonesian side Persib Bandung – doubts Lukaku has the same winning mentality that Costa has, underlying the Spanish striker’s importance to his current club.“They need to keep hold of Diego Costa. I think he brings something to the team – he brings that aggression up front that no defender likes playing against,” the ex-England international told talkSPORT 2.“Lukaku is a great player and everything but has he got that winning mentality that Diego has got? I don’t know.“I suppose he can score goals if he’s in the right team and, if you play to his strengths he will score goals, but with Diego you can put him in any situation and he will try 100 per cent – because he’s got that tenacity about him.“That’s the way I look at it and they will miss Diego if he goes.”While it could be safely assumed Diego Costa doesn’t feel wanted at Chelsea, Cole believes the situation could motivate the forward.“I think it should do because as a footballer you are a proud person especially as a striker,” Cole explained.“If you think you have done well enough, and they are still having a go at you and saying we will let you go now, that should spur you on to do even better and be the man you are supposed to be.“But I think it could be a plus for Chelsea if he stays.”last_img read more