Dale Eve adamant Bermuda hold no fear of favourites Canada
Dale Eve is adamant the prospect of facing regional powerhouse Canada in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers holds no fear for the Bermuda men’s senior squad.
Having had his domestic campaign in England curtailed, the goalkeeper’s availability is set to provide a major boost to coach Kyle Lightbourne’s squad ahead of facing Canada at the Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida, on March 25.
While John Herdman’s side — 73rd in the Fifa world rankings, 96 places above Bermuda — will be considered the overwhelming favourites, Eve has warned his team-mates must ignore their perceived underdog image.
“I think with Bermuda being in the position we’re in now, teams like Canada are forced to see us as just another tough opponent,” Bermuda’s No 1 said.
“We’ve overcome the idea of being the underdog; bigger teams now face us with respect. Given this new light on how we’re seen as an opponent, it means we have less excuses for error.
“The pressure is now on the team to provide results. We have never had this kind of recognition as a country, but we know it will be challenging.
“We expect a result from everyone we play against. Canada aren’t special to us; they’re just next up. We simply deal with our task we have at hand.”
While Eve is well aware of the challenge posed by the opposition, he was also quick to highlight the less than conventional circumstances that both teams find themselves in amid uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic and the heightened unpredictable nature of the encounter.
Due to travel restrictions imposed across much Europe both sides could be without key overseas personnel and heavily reliant on locally-based squads.
“This game will be even more challenging with the Covid protocols and new Fifa regulations,” he added. “Will we be able to fill the pitch with our best and most experienced players and also will they?
“There are so many other factors than normal to consider such as ensuring you’re Covid-free at all times, no crowds and restricted travel. All of these things could have an impact on determining the result to an extent.
“All I can say from our point of view is that we will prepare as best we can and play our hearts out on the day, as we always do.”
Eve’s availability was brought on by the Vanarama National League North and South Divisions being declared null and void after a vote by all 66 member clubs.
As a result, the Spennymoor Town custodian is on hand to add some much needed experience to the Bermuda squad for the Canada match, as well a visit from Aruba five days later on March 30.
“I think we all pretty much came to terms with that being the most possible outcome,” said the 27-year-old reflecting on curtailment of his domestic league campaign in England.
“We were being forced to get on with it when really we were just waiting for it to be deemed null and void.
“I didn’t take it as that much of a surprise when the decision was finally made. I simply packed up and left to prepare for the next season.
“However, one plus has been the opportunity to come straight back to Bermuda in preparation for upcoming games; it was the ideal situation. This way I can still train and just have a ball at my feet.”