Spot the difference in me tonight, says Wells
Nahki Wells insists he can be the “difference maker” for Bermuda as they look to pull off a major upset against Costa Rica at the Toyota Stadium tonight.
Wells said he is determined to make his mark on the Concacaf Gold Cup and is confident of converting the next goalscoring opportunity that comes his way.
The 29-year-old admits he is still frustrated by the chance he missed during the 2-1 defeat by Haiti in the group B opener and is eager to open his account at the tournament.
“Ideally, I’d like to stamp my authority on this tournament starting from tomorrow,” said Wells, who has scored seven goals for Bermuda.
“Hopefully, I can show people just what I’m capable of at this level and help my country overcome the odds and get the win.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that we will create chances. Against Haiti, we didn’t capitalise on some good opportunities; I squandered an important chance and one that still frustrates me.
“The next chance I get, I’ll look to score. If we can take the lead and take our opportunities, I’m sure we can cause them some big problems.”
Wells, who spent last season on loan at Sky Bet Championship side Queens Park Rangers, expects to be singled out for special attention from the Costa Rica defence.
However, he believes that will create space and opportunities for Bermuda’s other attacking outlets such as Zeiko Lewis and Reggie Lambe.
“We have a lot of talented players who I’m sure our opponents have done their homework on,” he added.
“There’s a pressure to perform and I know the opposition will look to nullify me and what I can offer. I have to go out there and perform, and know I have the potential to be the difference on the day.
“If they only worry about me, then hopefully the other players will have opportunities because we have some other fantastic players in the attacking department.”
Kyle Lightbourne, the Bermuda coach, said he has no intention of instructing his team to sit back and defend against Costa Rica, who are 39th in the Fifa world rankings.
Lightbourne is well aware of Costa Rica’s attacking threats in Joel Campbell, the former Arsenal forward, and Bryan Ruiz, the Santos playmaker, but said he is not interested in a damage-limitation exercise.
“Of course, there’s a gap between Costa Rica and Bermuda, and we’re expecting a difficult game,” Lightbourne said. “They’re the favourites, but we’re going to do our best to upset the odds.
“They move the ball well and play it quickly from back to front. They can keep possession, score goals and have some very good technical players.
“They leave two up front, so they always have that threat of catching you on the break. We want to be brave and want to be able to play.
“I’ve seen several games in this tournament — when Mexico played Cuba [in group A on Saturday], Cuba sat back and lost 7-0.
“Why am I going to sit back and lose? You might as well try to attack and win.”
• Stephen Wright travelled to Frisco, Texas, courtesy of Jet Blue, which provided flights between San José, Costa Rica, Orlando and Austin. Flights available from www.jetblue.com