Pacific keeping cards close to the vest ahead of Forge clash: ‘We’ve figured out some ways’
Canadian Premier League

Pacific FC coach Pa-Modou Kah was disappointed with the way things played out for his side on Wednesday, as Cavalry FC suffocated them en route to a 3-1 victory on matchday one of second round at The Island Games.

He credited the Cavs for stopping Pacific’s wide attack from the source in midfield, preventing them from playing the way that allowed them to be successful in earlier games.

Now faced with Forge FC in the Tridents’ second group stage match on Saturday, Kah told reporters on Friday that he and his staff have devised a plan for getting back to their best.

He’s not gonna reveal it, though, choosing instead to remain coy.

“We’ve watched footage and we’ve watched videos of Forge as well,” Kah said. “They obviously play different from Cavalry, but we’ve figured out some ways.”

What, specifically, did he want to address from the way they lost to the Cavs? He’s still not divulging much.

“I think we were a little bit overwhelmed by how they went about their pressure,” Kah added. “But other than that, we regrouped and we’re ready to go (Saturday).”

One topic Kah did address was Terran Campbell. The young striker, after having a breakout 2019 season for Pacific, hasn’t found his scoring form in PEI yet, and he’s had to split minutes up front with Alejandro Díaz.

Nonetheless, Kah has been happy with Campbell. The big centre-forward has plenty of responsibilities when put up front, from off-ball movement to physicality in the box, and as such the coach was keen to point out that scoring is only part of his game.

“Terran has been fantastic for us,” Kah said. “I know strikers are judged upon goals, but there’s more to that for us, and the work that he’s put in for the team and the way he goes about his business has been fantastic, and there’s nothing we can complain about.

“His goal will fall. Whether it’s tomorrow or against Halifax we don’t know, but for us we’re not just worried about the goals. We’re worried about the complete player, and so far he’s done everything we’ve asked and we’re proud of that.”

Last time Pacific took on Forge, it was a heartbreaker for the Tridents. They lost 2-1, courtesy of a Kyle Bekker goal in the 97th minute after being knotted at one apiece since the first half.

That first-round match was an entertaining one, with 35 shots in total taken between the two sides. Pacific had slightly more possession than their Hamilton opponents, and 15 shots inside the box compared to Forge’s eight, but they left empty-handed that day.

So, a measure of revenge might be in order. Saturday’s game will have no shortage of pressure for both sides, each of which need a result. In fact, a loss against Forge would put an end to Pacific’s hopes of making the CPL Final on Sept. 19.

For Kah, though, nothing changes, despite his young team. He’s not worried about nerves.

“Our mentality remains the same,” he said. “Young or old it doesn’t matter, this is a professional group who understands what is at stake and who are ambitious, so I have no worry about their mental state.

“We’re very much in the race, so there’s nothing that we will waver from. We know what we need to do.”

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