Antigua & Barbuda’s goal is to boost firepower

Antigua & Barbuda hope that Dexter Blackstock (pictured) can play in the final round of the CFU Caribbean Cup in Jamaica next month.

ST.JOHN’S, Antigua & Barbuda – With the final round of the 2014 Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Caribbean Cup quickly approaching, Antigua & Barbuda is looking to increase its scoring capacity in a bid to qualify for its first CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

According to head coach Rolston Williams, the team’s conversion rate is a reason for concern. 

“We are creating the chances, but we are not taking them,” said Williams.  “Our defensive shape is very good.  Our moving of the ball is good.  But once we get to the attacking third or the opponent’s defensive third and we are creating the chances, we are not putting away the easy chances so definitely we need to strengthen our team as it pertains to that for the final round.” 

Williams, a former striker, is hoping that Nottingham Forest’s Dexter Blackstock will be available for the finals, which will be played November 10-17 in Montego Bay, Jamaica.  The 28-year-old forward missed this month’s second round with an injury. 

Despite his absence, the Benna Boys advanced by finishing as runner-up to Trinidad & Tobago in Group 7 with a 1-1-1 record, but they only found the back of the net twice. 

“Players like Dexter Blackstock is coming off an injury, but he wasn’t fully fit for this round (the second round) and his physio had told him to take precautionary measures for this round, and if we (advance) to look at the next round,” Williams added.  “So I think he is one of the players we are looking at for that final round because we are definitely short in goalscorers and we need to strengthen the team in that area.” 

In Jamaica, Antigua & Barbuda will face Group B rivals Martinique, Haiti and the host nation. 

The top four teams in the Caribbean Cup automatically qualify for the Gold Cup, while the fifth-place team will face Honduras) in a playoff for the last Gold Cup spot.