TT men’s football team coach Dennis Lawrence is looking for a positive result in today’s Concacaf Nations League, League A Group C match against Honduras, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo from 7 pm.
This will be Honduras’ first game in the Nations League while TT will be coming off a pair of matches against Martinique last month, where they drew 1-1 away and 2-2 at home.
These three teams will comprise Group C, with the top two finishers moving on to the 2021 Concacaf Gold Cup and the bottom-placed team relegated to League B in the Nations League.
During yesterday’s pre-game media briefing, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Lawrence said, “We all know what’s at stake. I think we understand the importance of this game.”
However, this game will clash with the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) second qualifying match between the Trinbago Knight Riders and Barbados Tridents, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Tarouba.
In addition, the Lawrence-coached TT squad have been undergoing a terrible run of form, having lost eight and drawn four of their last 12 international matches.
Asked about the likelihood of a poor turnout at the Mucurapo venue today, Lawrence responded, “Look, you either have it in you or you don’t have it in you. If you’re a passionate football fan, you’ll come out for the game (today). If you’re a cricket fan, you’ll go to the cricket.
“I think we’ll all like it to be two separate days for obvious reasons, but that’s not the case,” he continued. “Our focus is (on) the group of players, the staff and the people that turn up.
“As much as we’ll like to see 25,000 people here, it aint going to happen, but we are going to be focused on the job at hand. The only way we can try to help to get (the fans) back is to get positive results on the football pitch. We all understand our people (and) our culture.”
The TT team has yet to be released by the TT Football Association (TTFA) and Lawrence commented, “We were totally unaware of the Martinique squad until the day of the game. When we revisited the rules of the competition, we don’t have to release any squad. We have to take advantage of that situation, so that’s the reason why we haven’t released any squad. We have to use that to our advantage.”
Lawrence had a large squad of players involved in training yesterday afternoon, including captain Khaleem Hyland, the Jones brothers Joevin and Alvin, Kevin Molino, Andre Fortune, Daneil Cyrus, Ross Russell jnr, Leston Paul, Mekeil Williams, Levi Garcia, Sheldon Bateau, Marcus Joseph, Ataulla Guerra, Neveal Hackshaw, Akeem Garcia, Ryan Telfer, Carlyle Mitchell, Aubrey David and the goalkeeping trio of Glenroy Samuel, Adrian Foncette and Marvin Phillip.
Commenting on his opponents, Lawrence said, “Honduras is a very experienced team. They are going to be competitive. They are going to come here very confident and wanting to get a victory. We’re going to be prepared for that.”