Altitude Bascome’s big concern
Bermuda may have only spent a full day in Mexico, but Andrew Bascome already knows the trip has been worthwhile.
The training session that he put his squad through yesterday convinced the Bermuda coach that arriving in Guatemala a day or so before the first leg of their World Cup qualifier will leave his team on a hiding to nothing.
Such was the difficulty that the Bermuda players had in the high altitude of Mexico City, not only does Bascome now want his side in Guatemala a week early, it has also left him considering a change in tactics.
“We trained and we struggled badly,” Bascome said. “We have to acclimatise before I can even enforce anything else, we might have to adjust our tactics, we might have to be more defensively organised and give them the other two-thirds of the pitch because we really struggled with the elevation.”
How far he will have to go in changing his approach will be decided by today’s training game against Mexico Under-23s, which Bascome will use as the basis for picking his squad for the games against Guatemala.
In order to get the most out of the occasion, Bascome intends on giving all his players equal time on the pitch
“I’m grateful for the opportunity [to play Mexico] and I’m going to make sure I get a good look at all the players, because most of the professionals didn’t come, so it’s going to give me a chance to look at the other ones.
“It’s important that I give them a good run out so I can make a good decision once I get back, it doesn’t make sense me bringing them this far and giving them 10-20 minutes.”
Knowing that his side are playing against “top opposition” Bascome will be looking at those players that can stay organised, can adapt, and more importantly “play smart.”
“I don’t want to go back to Bermuda not sure about someone because I didn’t give them the opportunity,” Bascome said.
With the likes of Jonté Smith, Nahki Wells, Rai Simmons and Danté Leverock all missing, Roger Lee and Rakeem Deshields will be given the opportunity to press their case for a spot in the squad.
Bascome also intends to start Dale Eve ahead of Freddie Hall, but all his tinkering will be meaningless if they can’t overcome the altitude problem.
“We’ll need to conserve energy, but if we can’t overcome that we’re in trouble,” Bascome said.
D Bascome, J Bather, K Bean, T Burgess, C Castle, D Eve, F Hall, J Harvey, R Deshields, M Hill, A Simmons, R Lee, Z Lewis, T Ming, D Ming, J Raynor, C Robinson, A Russell, L Simmons, S Smith