SANDY, Utah – It was not the start Grenada would have liked in 2019/20 Concacaf Nations League Qualifying.
The Spice Boys suffered a 10-0 defeat to Curacao, but for FW Jamal Charles and the rest of the Grenada squad, the page has already turned and they are eagerly awaiting Friday’s home clash with Cuba.
“It will be a good game and we’ll be ready to fight,” said Charles in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“We will be ready physically and mentally and willing to fight. It’s always special to play at home in front of our fans and it’s important that we play well at home,” added Charles.
Despite the defeat last month to Curacao, Charles still felt like there were some positive moments for Grenada during the match.
“We had some good moments, but overall it was a bad game for us. We have a good group of players, we had chances so we just need to play better going forward,” said Charles.
The match also served as the debut of new Head Coach Shalrie Joseph. The legendary former Grenada international took the reins of a team hoping to make a return to prominence in the Concacaf region, such as when Joseph as a player led the Spice Boys to the 2009 and 2011 Concacaf Gold Cups.
Charles believes that Joseph’s positive influence is already being felt.
“Shalrie has a good relationship with the players. He’s always talking to us and has a good understanding of us. Shalrie as a coach is a good thing. He is bringing more of a passing game, more tactical football. He is trying to adapt us to play possession football. For me, it’s good,” said Charles.
Even with a defeat on Matchday 1, Chares feels like Grenada can win out and reach its third Gold Cup.
“Our mindset is to reach the Gold Cup. We need a group of players to accomplish that mission and who have that mission. We will try our best to get those nine points,” said Charles.
Currently playing his club football with Real Monarchs of the USL in the United States, Charles is one of many players across the Concacaf region that is enjoying the inaugural Nations League.
“The Nations League is good. I think it’s a very good cup. I think it is helping footballers in the Caribbean and will improve football in the region,” concluded Charles.