Fitzgerald searches for answers as Molynes United continue to wobble


Fitzgerald searches for answers as Molynes United continue to wobble

Saturday, January 18, 2020

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After six match days in the Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL), newly promoted Molynes United were the toast of top-flight football in Jamaica.

Six wins in six games had seen them assume the lead in the RSPL and with some big scalps among the mix, they were simply irrepressible.

But their seventh game ended in defeat and many more defeats followed as they hit a wall — hard.

The stark loss of form led to the firing of Lij “Shaka” Simms, who had famously said “the six is real”, after their last win under his tenure.

Calvert Fitzgerald, who has held the reins at the club in lower divisions, has been brought in to fix the woes at the club, but with just one more win since the first six to start the season, things have not got markedly better at the club, even with the change in coaching staff.

One win, seven losses and three draws from 11 games in the second round has seen Molynes United add just six points to the 18 gained in round one, as they have slipped from first place to 10th place in the 12-team league.

Molynes are now seven points above the relegation zone, but after a 4-0 hammering at the hands of Cavalier to end the second round, that seven-point cushion may not prove to be enough for a team that has badly lost their way.

The two teams below them — UWI FC and the other promoted team Vere United — will both fancy their chances of clawing back the deficit over the next 11 games of the regular season.

Molynes have shown flashes that has given rise to hope during the second round, including a famous win over league leaders Waterhouse FC at Drewsland, a draw and a good performance against former champions Arnett Gardens in the penultimate game of round two.

However, there has not been enough consistency in their play to engender confidence to believe that they will avoid being drawn into the relegation scrap in round three.

Fitzgerald was left bemused after the loss to Cavalier on Sunday, coming off the draw against Arnett Gardens.

“We started slowly, extremely slowly... lethargic, without intensity. I thought coming after a very good game against Arnett Gardens we would have some confidence and some energy, but we were extremely flat today [Sunday],” he said.

Fitzgerald bemoaned the concession of the four goals which he said were all “avoidable”.

“All four goals scored could have been avoided, it's not as if we have been played off the park but we are just making some very bad defensive decisions, some extremely bad defensive decisions we are making and it's costing us.

“During the interval I really urged them to go out there with more energy and ambition and purpose and we started off in the ascendancy and then we just conceded a very avoidable goal and then everything else just fall apart.”

The experienced coach has identified defending as the major issue at the club and will be looking to strengthen in that area during the transfer window, which closes at the end of the month.

“We are having defensive problems from I have taken up the team. We just can't seem to keep a clean sheet, so we are going to definitely try to strengthen in that area,” he revealed.

Molynes United will begin the third round with a home game against defending champions Portmore United at Constant Spring Field.

— Dwayne Richards

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