Ahead of the Reggae Boyz’ match against Haiti on Tuesday, head coach Hiemir Hallgrimsson and seasoned Reggae Boyz defender Adrian Mariappa have called for greater support from fans at the Boyz’ local matches.
As in several sports, home advantage is considered a great asset in football to increase a team’s morale and thus their performance while playing among fans at their home ground. Hallgrimsson’s call for greater fan turnout follows the Boyz’ 1-0 victory over Honduras at the National Stadium on Friday, which saw the national men’s team top Group B in the CONCACAF Nations League.
Hallgrimsson discussed the need for better support alongside Mariappa during a press conference on Monday. Sharing that his teammates met with fans after their match against Honduras, Mariappa expressed how substantial it was to the players to have their support at the game. Citing previous games played at the National Stadium with a massive turnout, Mariappa noted that there was no greater feeling.
Mariappa also highlighted the significance of fan support during a match in regards to disadvantaging the opposing team. The English-born footballer encouraged fans to support them at future games while sharing his hopes for the team to deliver praiseworthy performances on the field.
“We know that going forward, we need the support. We need the love. We need everyone to come together, and that’s how we’re going to get to the goals that we want to achieve,” Mariappa stated.
Hallgrimsson, who was appointed Reggae Boyz head coach last year in September, expressed that he appreciated the support as he did not know what to expect, however, Hallgrimmson shared his desire for more fans to come to their forthcoming match with Haiti, noting that the team needed the push.
The Icelander explained that strong fan support could be extremely beneficial in helping the Boyz gain an edge over Haiti on Tuesday and even affect the referee’s decisions.
Watch the interview below.