Celso Borges believes sky-high morale within Costa Rica’s squad can help them kick off their CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign with a victory over Jamaica.
After reaching the World Cup quarter-finals in 2014, the Central American side are one of the three seeded teams in the United States and are looking to claim a first Gold Cup title.
Paulo Wanchope succeeded Jorge Luis Pinto after Brazil and won five of his opening six matches as interim coach, however since being handed the role on a permanent basis he has yet to win.
Three defeats and two draws represent a far from perfect build-up for the competition, although that run included fixtures against high-profile trio Colombia, Spain and Mexico.
Despite their stuttering form, Costa Rica are one of the favourites for the title, with Borges convinced the squad are together ahead of their Group B opener.
“I think we’re very well prepared for this match,” said the midfielder. “The important thing is that the team has a good fluency in their game and we all understand each other.
“We are different to other teams because of our squad. We have been working together for a long time. It has helped us develop a way to play that characterised us during the tournament [World Cup].
“In any tournament is vital to win the first game because it puts you in a good mood and can catapult us to very good things during the competition.”
Jamaica endured a tough time at the recent Copa America, losing all three games 1-0 after accepting an invite to participate in the tournament.
Despite failing to score in Chile, assistant coach Miguel Coley says Jamaica will use the experience to enable them to be more attacking at the Gold Cup.
“The momentum is good, it’s now for us not to rest there, but build on that,” he said. “I know that the mindset of the players is very good and I know that they are mentally strong. I also know that they are very focused and ready for this tournament.
“In the Copa America, we had tough games, which we could not take many chances, because those teams we played against, once you open up, they will punish you, so we had to be playing very tight and a bit reserved.
“But at the Gold Cup, with the confidence within the team, we expect us to take more chances at goal.