Hall hoping for aggressive play to rescue Jamaica’s fortunes in Concacaf World Cup qualifiers
FORMER REGGAE Boy, Paul Hall, described his ascension to interim senior national men’s football team head coach as bittersweet, while committing himself and his team to an aggressive attacking style of play to turn around Jamaica’s fortunes in the final set of World Cup qualifiers.
Hall was officially unveiled yesterday as the new man tasked with leading their campaign, replacing his ‘class of 1998’ teammate, Theodore Whitmore, who was sacked last Thursday, ending his stint as head coach after four years in charge.
Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz are currently in sixth place with seven points, seven points adrift the top four, with six games left in the competition.
In his first press conference as interim head coach, Hall acknowledged the difficulty in taking the position at the expense of Whitmore, but says that he has his backing regardless.
“We exchanged messages and (have) spoken about it and I can assure you that he is behind us and he will be cheering us on and gives us his best wishes,” said Hall.
“I have to commend him for that because it still must be, as it would be for anybody else, quite raw still,” Hall said. “But we have to continue the work that he’s done. And that is what I will be telling the players.”
Hall will have the task to improve the fortunes of a team that has only scored six goals so far in the campaign. With that in mind, Hall says that he intends for the team to play with purpose with a high-press style that he hopes will translate quickly, starting against Mexico on January 27.
“It’s very difficult to change the personality of the team in the short term because we are looking for results and we are looking to just pick a team and a squad that is going to get us results. However, I do like to press really high. I do like to make sure that they are attack-minded and we like to pass the ball around, possession-based play.
“How much of that can we get out in the short term, it’s going to be down to the work that we do beforehand,” Hall said. “But tactically we are looking to press, counter-press and then just hopefully in the five phases of the game try to dominate the opposition.”
For their upcoming friendly international, Hall hinted, however, that an infusion of local-based players is possible for his first game in charge against Peru on January 20, which for him is a base to evaluate who could help in the World Cup qualifying rescue mission, in the absence of key international players because it is being played outside of the FIFA window.
“That’s what the Peru game is pointing towards. There is so much talent on the island. It’s about to try to offer a pathway towards our national programme,” he said.
“We’ll try to get the players who are available or who are out of competition,” Hall said. “What we want to do is have a look at these players against some quality position.”