Leaders Defence Force shuns the panic button

 Leaders Defence Force shuns the panic button “We aren’t pushing any panic button at all,” declared Defence Force assistant coach Marvin Gordon after seeing the club’s healthy 9-point advantage at the top of the Digicel Pro League standings slimmed to just 6 points with 8 matches remaining.

Caledonia, positioned second on the table, now boasts 26 points—6 points adrift of the Defence Force (32 points), after defeating St. Ann’s Rangers 2-1 on Wednesday night in one of two rescheduled Round One matches at the Ato Boldon Stadium to close the gap at the top.

Meanwhile defending champions DIRECTV W Connection also picked up some slack on Wednesday by edging cross-town rivals Central FC 1-0 in the second rescheduled match to return to third position on the standings with 22 points, and sending North East Stars (20 points) back into fourth in the process.

“Even if it’s a one point lead we are not under any pressure,” Gordon added. “At the end of the day, six points is two games and I don’t see us losing two games on the trot. I’m not worried what people are saying. We are keeping our feet on the ground and remain focused on the game at hand, which is against T&TEC on Friday.”

Defence Force will face bottom of the table T&TEC FC from 6pm on Friday followed by sixth positioned Police FC against Connection from 8pm in a Super Friday double header at the Ato Boldon Stadium. And on Saturday the Marvin Lee Stadium will host a double header with Rangers against Caledonia a second time in four days from 5pm, followed by Central against North East Stars from 7pm.

Back in December Defence Force had to hold on for a 3-2 win over T&TEC in Round Two after allowing two late goals by the ‘Electric Boys’. This time around, Gordon remains cautious.

He said, “I don’t think it would be easy for us against T&TEC because as I’ve always said, every game in the league is a difficult one. They (T&TEC) are at the bottom which makes them a tough opponent. They have nothing to lose and would be coming against us with everything they got.”

Gordon will be without the services of central defender Devin Jordan and defensive midfielder Curtis Gonzales both suspended through cards, while right winger Kevon Carter will be rested because of a slight groin injury.

“We have enough depth in the squad to deal with it,” assured Gordon. “We have players like Sean Narcis, Glynn Franklyn and Ross Russell Jr. who can fit right in. It also gives these guys the opportunity to try and secure their places in the starting team.”

 Leaders Defence Force shuns the panic button The Defence Force assistant coach went on to add, “It would be important to put that pressure on Caledonia by defeating T&TEC on Friday and taking a 9-point advantage. We want (Caledonia) to be under the added pressure going into their game on Saturday knowing that we are 9 points away.”

Meantime Caledonia captain and veteran holding midfielder, Stephan David, remains very optimistic over the Morvant-Laventille club’s chances of lifting the League title this season.

“I don’t think it’s difficult (for us to win the title this season),” David said. “It’s always been our ambition and it’s our ultimate goal. Defence Force is at the top, but we have to focus on ourselves and do what we need to. Once there are points to play for, we are going to play for maximum points. We have to think about Caledonia right now and not where Defence Force or (third positioned) W Connection are positioned.”

Commenting on Wednesday’s 2-1 over Rangers and meeting the St. Ann’s club again on Saturday, David said, “We made the game hard for ourselves by not putting away our chances in the first half. But on Saturday it’s a new game which brings new challenges. We are going to play hard and fight for every point. We can’t afford to slipup now.”

Round Two Match Day Seven
Friday 22 February
Ato Boldon Stadium
T&TEC FC vs Defence Force—6pm
Police FC vs W Connection—8pm

Saturday 23 February
Marvin Lee Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Caledonia AIA—5pm
Central FC vs North East Stars—7pm

Rescheduled Round Two Match Day Six fixture
Wednesday 27 February 2013
Ato Boldon Stadium
St. Ann’s Rangers vs Police FC—6pm