Reggie Lambe sent out a rallying cry to the Bermuda squad with their Concacaf Nations League A status already hanging in the balance after a 4-1 defeat against Panama at the National Stadium last night.
Lambe helped force the leveller, an own goal from Harold Cummings, but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation as Panama showed their ruthless side, capitalising on a host of defensive lapses to run out comfortable winners courtesy of a brace from Gabriel Torres and further goals from Rolando Blackburn and substitute Adalberto Carrasquilla.
However, with the chance to make amends in the reverse fixture in just two days time, Lambe is adamant retaining their League A status is still achievable, despite the need for victory now becoming more vital, with two daunting fixtures against Mexico still to come and the bottom-placed team from each group facing relegation.
“We’re not in this Nations League just to lay down and roll over for anyone,” Lambe said.
“Obviously we wanted to win tonight, and we’ll be desperate to do so in Panama and in both games against Mexico.
“We certainly won’t be taking any of these games lightly and we’re not just here to be the whipping boys for the bigger nations; we’re here to try and stay in League A and keep competing with the best of our region.
“There is still more to play for, as long as there are more games, there’s plenty to play for.
“We’re not out yet; it’s not finished, it’s a long way from being finished.”
Reflecting on the humbling defeat, Lambe cited a dearth of clinical edge as well as a lack of concentration defensively, with Panama’s third goal, a calamitous mistake by Calon Minors on the edge of his area that was punished by Torres, a decisive nail in Bermuda’s coffin.
“It was a case of us creating our own problems at the back and they capitalised on the chances,” Lambe added. “We created a few of our own good chances, but we couldn’t take them and their third goal really burst our balloon.
“We have to now immediately refocus for when we get down to Panama for Sunday’s game. We have to play a lot better and do more with the chances we create.
“The positive thing is that we are creating chances, but we have to start taking them, as well as defend better, to give us a chance of winning games.
“To help the team with a goal is always good, but I’m more focused on the result.
“I’d rather the team do well as a collective than myself on a personal level. It was a frustrating evening, but we can move on quickly with the game being in a few days time.”