National team captain Densill Theobald and his teammates will be hoping to get bouncing again and attempt to shrug off Sunday’s miserable 4-0 whipping to Costa Rica when they meet Central Americans Chile in another friendly international away on March 25 .
T&T head coach Wim Rijsbergen said this would be the team’s next exercise as it continues preparations towards the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup in the USA which kicks off on June 6.
The Dutchman was reacting to Sunday’s heavy loss when he added that hopefully he will have access to some of his overseas-based talent for the upcoming internationals.
“It’s good when players themselves start to realize and talk about the difference in play,” Rijsbergen told TTFF Media.
“You hope it’s not just about playing one game but maybe a change in mentality is what is needed because they need to understand that more work is needed. When they go back to their clubs they must not be pleased too easily and that is what happens in local competition. There you can maybe do it with fifty percent of the energy and get results but you must also train harder with the idea of becoming better players. That is what I am trying to get into the heads of these guys,” Rijsbergen added.
“That is why you need the foreign talent to help them and to raise the level during training and in matches . They have to help in the process.”
“As a coach I want to improve things but the players also have to lift their standard at the local level. When we continue to just play at this level then the players might fool themselves into thinking they are at the top of their game and then when you have to play the other international teams you will see the difference. They will realize the game ask a bit more of them and that is what will happen to Darryl Roberts when he goes to Holland to join his new club but hopefully that will make him a better player when he has to come back and play for the national team and hopefully the same goes for the rest of them.”
“Our next game is March 25 against Chile and we need al the help we can get because Chile is better than Costa Rica. This will not be a fun game and we need the better players to be able to make the current crop make the jump. We will continue the process of looking for other players as well. Myself and Jan (Van Deinsen) will use the Carnival period to look at more players in Europe and also when the local League starts here again.”
Theobald meantime said his players would have hopefully received a wake up call.
“For the first game against Panama maybe the result and the performance wasn’t that bad because we didn’t get our luggage and we had to use some uniform from Panama to train with and so on. But against Costa Rica we were just very hesitant and the game may have gotten to the younger players. We didn’t get into our game and that was disappointing and the coach let us know that he wasn’t happy about that. We didn’t start playing until it was already 4-0.
“But this is definitely an experience the boys can take forward with them whether they are on the national team or not. What it makes them realize is that it takes a lot more out of you at the international level and hopefully we can all grow from it. We just have to get the best team ready to take on the other challenges,” Theobald added.