Rovers’ striker Theo Robinson has joined up with the Reggae Boyz, Jamaica, for their CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers this week.
He flew out this weekend ahead of the two games away at Panama and home to Costa Rica. Theo had an explosive start to his Rovers career after joining from Derby by scoring two goals in two
Jamaica have not had the best of campaigns and remain bottom of a group that includes Mexico and the USA.
Their first opponent is Panama, who also are their nearest rivals in the table sitting four points ahead. The Reggae Boyz second game is against 2nd placed Costa Rica, who currently sit in one of the three automatic qualifying spots.
Theo will be trying to impress new the Jamaica coach who took over four weeks ago.
Winfried Schaefer has spent time as a coach on almost every continent, with the national teams of Cameroon, Thailand and now Jamaica, and with a host of clubs including Stuttgart and Al-Ahli.
In four-and-a-half decades in the game, the widely-respected German has enjoyed plenty of success, too. In almost 30 years in the dugout, Schaefer has seen pretty much all there is to see.
However, the 63-year-old now faces one of the greatest challenges of his colourful career, as he seeks to lead the Reggae Boyz to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ despite a near-hopeless situation in CONCACAF qualifying.
“I wouldn’t have taken the job if I thought it was hopeless. I was certainly shocked when I looked at the World Cup qualifying table. Only two points?
“But after video analysis, I became convinced there was much more to the team than they’d managed to show up to this point. The first match in Mexico was good, but then complacency set in and they thought it would all look after itself.”
“The match against Panama on 6 September is the make-or-break fixture. We daren’t lose that one. At the moment, we have maybe a 30 per cent chance of making it to Brazil. If we beat Panama, that might become a 60 per cent chance. Costa Rica come to us after that, and then we’ll see.”
“The most important thing is contact with the players. We don’t have much time, so it’s more important to rebuild their belief and convince them it’s actually possible than to start showing them how to take a corner. But we’ll also need a lot of luck.”
Panama vs Jamaica Friday 6th September
Jamaica vs Costa Rica 10th September