PNE winger Chris Humphrey and his Jamaican teammates are on the brink of Gold Cup history – and the might of the USA does not phase them.
And Preston North End winger Humphrey insists his side have nothing to fear ahead of the showdown in Georgia, kick-off 11pm UK time on Wednesday, after he saw his first playing time of the tournament in Sunday’s 1-0 victory over Haiti.
“The Haiti match was a great experience for everyone with us being on straight after the USA,” said Humphrey, in an exclusive interview with PNE.Com.
“There was a few people watching and the stadium was excellent as well.
“To get the early goal was what we needed because our defensive record; with the back four that we have and the midfield, it is going to be hard for teams to score.
“To be fair to Haiti, they had a lot of chances and we rode a storm a little bit, but we did what we had to in the end and won the game.
“That is three consecutive cleansheets and naturally we have got the players at the back to do that, the back four has been very, very good and has been the whole tournament.
“It was in the Copa America as well with the games I watched, we only lost one-nil to the likes of Argentina who are one of the best side’s in the world.
“The team’s structure and its shape are very, very good, so I’m looking forward to it – America is nothing to be scared of.
“They haven’t been very good this tournament and we have beat them before in Jamaica so bring them on.
“The atmosphere will be unbelievable. I watched a little bit of their game before we played and the stadium was rammed, so it will be absolutely heaving on Wednesday and I just can’t wait for it.
“History. That is it. You might not even come on the pitch, but that squad will be put down in history.
“It is exciting times and I am looking forward to the game; but also I can’t wait to get back home; back to Preston.
“I am not going to lie, I have missed it, coming in, training with the lads, the banter with the staff, the gaffer, Glynn Snodin and all that.
“You miss it because last season we were so tight, we had the togetherness and we were really a family, and being away from that you just miss it.
“I’m looking forward to getting back now but it is a big thing that is about to happen if we can do it.
“Hopefully I can bring back a Gold Cup medal with me. That’s the plan, and that would be two medals in a year so you never know.”
If Humphrey could change anything about his summer with Jamaica, it would no doubt be the amount of minutes he has played in the tournament to date.
And although he is having a blast as his country continues to fly, he is already looking forward to his return to Preston and trying to earn a place in Simon Grayson’s Championship starting XI.
He continued: “I have come here and I am not expecting to start; to be honest, Garath McCleary has been unbelievable in this tournament to be fair; two assists and two goals.
“He has been really, really good, so you can’t really expect much at the minute.
“In the same way that if I came back to Preston and for arguments sake Kyel Reid or Andy Little are doing really well on the right, you can’t expect to play.
“But if someone gets injured or the gaffer goes a different way, then that is when you have to do it.
“I done it last season when Litts was playing and he got injured, I came in, scored, and set up two, so that is what you need to do.
“I have come here; I wouldn’t say I am happy to be on the bench because no one is that happy when they are not playing, but it is understandable when someone is doing so well.
“It is just nice to be part of a squad that could make history and beat the USA in the USA; that would be unbelievable.
“I have done enough with my fitness and I have really been on it.
“I have worked hard over the three weeks I have been here but it’s the match side of it now.
“I have my core fitness, I just need to play some games, so that is something I will need to speak to the gaffer about.
“The lads go to Scotland at the weekend and I should be with them, at the latest, for the final week before the season starts.”
One sub plot to Jamaica’s success so far is their 1-0 group stage victory over Canada – a Canada which one of Humphrey’s best friends and former North End man Iain Hume used to represent.
But Humphrey won’t be rubbing salt into the former Deepdale favourite’s wound – well not just yet anyway.
Humphrey laughed: “I spoke to him a lot after the game but that hasn’t come up, I haven’t said anything and I think it is a bit of a sore point for Humey and he obviously hasn’t said anything.
“He just said ‘congratulations on going through’, and that was it.
“I just left it at that because I know what he is like when it comes to Canada – he is an angry man!
“I will let the storm die down a bit and then I’ll probably give him a little bit more when I get back!”
You can see how Chris and the rest of the Reggae Boyz get on tonight by watching the match live on BT Sport 1 from 11pm Wednesday.