By Sulayman Bah
Thrown projectiles in the aftermath of last Friday’s first-leg meeting in Banjul, Gambian players know only victory can placate vexed supporters back at home.
The Scorpions and gaffer Tom Saintfiet were cheered on by a full to the brim faithful in the lead up to a game that would later turn a defeat. Ninety minutes on, the dynamics changed as they went from heroes to zero. Gambian football followers are known to be impatient but the Belgian gaffer gave them enough reasons to unleash volleys of smattering boos with his near catastrophic formation.
However, today, they would be out hoping to make amends which by all indications he must, to salvage his respect, and to some extent, his job in the long term.
There is already belief Saintfiet would be sticking with his second-half formation out of a largely overall unimpressive display, ensuring the restoration of youth sensation and man-of-the-match Ebrima Colley to the starting lineup and -possibly – the inclusion of Bun Sanneh or Yusupha Njie to upgrade a midfield devoid of creativity.
That would perhaps mean Bubacarr Sanneh returning to his centre-back role to form core of what might be a three-man defence completed by Futty Danso whom Tom opted to overlook owing to fitness issues.
Photo: Anymore slip-up would be doom for Tom Saintfiet
‘We gave all the ball possession to Angola in the first half. Our strikers are stronger than their defenders. I believe with the second half performance, we can make it difficult for Angola. We have a lot of good players and I have a lot of good players that I do not invite. Ebrima Colley is the talent for the future. We can be happy that we have him in the Gambia,’ Tom said in his post-match remarks.
An exit of the preliminary World Cup qualifiers will be bad start for a coach whose contract was recently renewed.