Rangers coach Lowe: We’re not giving up
A heavy defeat in their first match has left Southampton Rangers with a big task of trying to advance in the Dudley Eve competition, but new coach Maurice Lowe says his players are up for the job against North Village today at St John's Field.
Rangers had the worst possible start to the new season, crashing to a 5-0 defeat to neighbours PHC at Bernard Park on Monday after Kevin Lambe's 20-yard volley broke the deadlock inside the first minute.
“We had a training session since that match and the response has been positive and we're looking forward to a positive response in our next match versus North Village,” said Lowe who took over from Marvin Belboda as head coach at Southampton Oval.
“In terms of me being at Southampton Rangers this is early days and the beginning of the project, and while we're disappointed in the result versus PHC that's not going to define the entire project that we have embarked on at Southampton Rangers. The best is yet to come from us and anyone who reads too much into that result and thinks we're easy as a result of it might find themselves in a bad place because of it.”
Rangers lost big striker Dennis Russell back to PHC during the summer transfers though they did pick up Dion Stovell, a proven goalscorer. But just how much he and Janeiro Tucker will contribute to the team in the two months before the Bermuda cricket team heads to the United Arab Emirates in November is yet to be determined.
“Dion Stovell and Janeiro Tucker are athletes who play both football and cricket and our club's stance is to respect the wishes of the national cricket team so that they can have the best preparation possible for their tour to Dubai,” said Lowe.
“Yes, we would love to have them available to play with us in football but we have to look at the bigger picture as to what is best for the country that is the sacrifice that we have to make right now. The cricket season is still in full effect so beyond the end of the cricket season their commitment to the national team will make them a little less available to our football programme at this point.”
Today, Rangers know that anything less than a victory will hurt their chances of advancing as Village still have to play the Zebras and have their fate in their own hands.
“We were guilty of poor defending, silly errors at times which enabled the opponent to score and we weren't very penetrative in the attacking phase of the field,” Lowe admitted.
“But when it came to retaining possession we did a good job. We need to do a better job defensively and create more opportunities.”
Lowe admitted the task against Village will be a difficult one.
“Our approach has to be to do as best we can in the next match,” he stated. “Every game we play we try to win and we're not giving up on the competition by any means, although realistically we know we have a tough chance of progressing in the tournament.
“Top of our agenda is to be competitive in each competition. If we say priorities that would mean we are giving some competitions more weight than others and, no, we're giving all competitions equal weight and we want to do well in every competition.”
The Village-Rangers match will start at 3pm, followed by Devonshire Cougars against Somerset at 5 o'clock when Cougars also face a must-win situation after losing their opening match to Dandy Town 2-1.