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Schafer on Hector and his Reggae Boyz

11 June 2015

Winfried backing his Jamaicans to cause an upset

Michael Hector and Garath McCleary open their Copa America campaign this weekend when their Jamaica side take on Uruguay in the first of their group games out in Chile - and Reggae Boyz boss Winfried Schafer is targeting a place in the quarter-finals.

The Jamaicans are undoubted underdogs, taking part in the tournament for the first time in the competition's history, but the former Cameroon and Thailand manager is keen to push his squad to excel out in South America.

"I hope we can go to the quarter-finals," he told the Sunday Gleamer. "Football is open, you cannot tell; Brazil were beaten 7-1 in the semi-final of the World Cup.

"This is good for Jamaica, it is good for the players, good for me and good for everybody.

"I want to win matches and hope at the end when we come back from Chile our whole island is happy about the Reggae Boyz."

Under the rules of the tournament, the two-best third-placed teams are guaranteed progression to the last eight alongside each group’s top-two sides.

“We’ve got to work, I don’t want stagnation. Every time, I want more, more, more,” Schafer continued.

"I'm aggressive, I want to see everybody fight for our team, and everybody eat from the success of our team. I'm a positive man, not a negative man.

“I hope we can build from both this tournament and the Gold Cup a very strong team for the World Cup qualification games in August and September."

And Schafer is delighted to have Hector on board for the first time. "We have Michael Hector here with us for the first time, a big talent who I am very happy has chosen to come to play for Jamaica," he said from the training camp in Chile.

"That is what we want, players with heart for Jamaica. The spirit is good, the players want to play.

"For us, it is important that when we go home after the tournament that the people in our nice island is happy about our team.

"If they are proud, then we have had a very good tournament. I have confidence in this team."


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