Junior Lone Star manager Coach Robert Pella Lartey has announced that his side is going all out to try and play attacking football and also defend to crush the Small Elephants in the tricky return leg battle in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Coach Pella said though his team possesses a strong array of attacking and defending talents but he would not only use the pattern of attacking to serve as his defensive weapon knowingly that the Young Elephants have incisive frontrunners and are good to play out wide.
The U-20 Lone Star team is expected to depart the country today via air to face the Young Elephants on Sunday, May 25, 2015 in the 2nd leg of the preliminary round’s second phase of the U-20 CAF Championship.
“We are going to attack, but not to only attack but to defend as well, Coach Pella said, “and maybe to do it is to attack and defend together in order to crossover to the next round for the competition.”
“We like to defend to maintain the one goal aggregate but the Junior Ivory Coast is an offensive team and will go on the offensive level so what we would do to counter their plot is to also be on the offensive and as the same time be defensive,” the 38 year-old U-20 Liberian manager said.
Despite some concerns over the way Junior Lone Star played below par as a team in their narrow win against their Ivorian opponents, Coach Pella is still positive about pulling the legs the Young Elephants to walk steadily over them.
Statistics of the May 11’s game at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) indicated that the Young Elephants played a more careful game but wasted 11 corner kicks as against one by Jr. Lone Star.
The Ivorians also took several shots at goal including a couple of direct kicks in both halves, but theJunior Lone Star’s two shots at goal were in the second half through direct kicks, just outside the eighteen yard box.
Coach Pella told the Daily Observer in an exclusive interview yesterday that 19 quality players have been selected to sway the magical wand amidst whatever pressure from the Ivorians.
“We have a positive pressure. I’m convinced we believe in ourselves no matter what happens; but in the Ivorian position, if they lose, they are out. That is a negative pressure,” Coach Pella opined.
At least a win on Sunday against the Ivorians would qualify the Liberian side to the third stage of the preliminary rounds.
Liberia crossed over the first stage despite a 1-0 loss at home to protest against the Gambia for the fielding of five over-aged players.
Meanwhile, Coach Pella has called for the support of Liberians through their prayers and stressed it would be important for them.
He named some of the players as Koulibaly Abdulai, Ben Gbamy, Sunnyboy Dolo, ,Spro Somah, Boakai Molu, Blamo Nimely, Nimely Nyanti and Varney Fofana. Others include Franciah Raymond, Stephen Seameh, Sporo Sylvanus Nimely, Harmon Van-Dave and Prince Saydee.