Stern John has seen Sunderland at their best and their worst this season and, although he believes the Wearsiders cannot lose again if automatic promotion is to remain a realistic ambition, the striker is confident the Premiership is still within reach.
Connection, who beat Chivas 2-1 in the first leg at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, left for Mexico on Carnival Monday to prepare for the crucial encounter against their opponents on February 28.
Looking back at Connection’s opening triumph over the Mexican giants Williams believes it’s a sign of good things to come for the TT Pro League.
“Every bona fide football fan who has an interest in the Pro League will see that it was a good victory for the sake of the league on the whole,” said Williams.
“It was good to see a local side being competitive against Chivas and getting that type of result. It was a great victory for Caribbean football, and the Pro League teams can only build from here on, as it will give all of us that sort of firepower to emulate such a feat, as we aim to raise the standard of football in Trinidad and Tobago.”
The former Strike Squad defender was however; quick to add that the return leg was going to be tough for the ‘Savonetta Boys’, but he admitted the Couva-based side could reach the semi-final stage of the prestigious CONCACAF club tournament once they remain focused.
“Going out to Mexico is going to be pretty difficult for Connection, but they must play the game according to the situation as they try to qualify for the next round.”
“W Connection only need a draw out there, but I am not suggesting that they must go out there and play a totally defensive game. If Connection apply themselves properly, concentrate and be disciplined in their approach, they can pull off the necessary result,” said the National Under-20 Coach
Even though Connection and United Petrotrin are archrivals at local level, Williams gave the Earl Jean-led side his full backing to bring glory to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
“W Connection are going there to represent T&T which means all our support at that level is needed. They have achieved a lot in such a short space of time in Trinidad and Tobago football, so we must give Connection our support and hope they do well… at the end of the day it’s all about country.”
Darryl Mahabir was also full of praise for W Connection, stating that a victory for the club augurs well for the TT Pro League on the whole.
“We at North East Stars will give our support to W Connection based on the fact they are one of the top clubs in the country, and we expect that they would pull off a win in Mexico,” said Mahabir.
“The clubs in the TT Pro League would expect to be given a big boost if W Connection wins, because it would show that the level of football that we play in Trinidad and Tobago can match that of other countries in the world.”
Mahabir felt that Connection’s participation in Mexico in the CONCACAF Champions Cup four years ago when they played Toluca could come in handy for the upcoming clash.
Connection went under 3-2 to Toluca on that occasion in their quarterfinal round of 16; the Mexicans eventually went on to win the competition.
Mahabir said, “Their past experience in Mexico should give them a little knowledge as to how they must go about their business across there.”
“I think they are playing great football at this time, and I think once they continue playing the game they are accustomed to, they stand a good chance of overcoming the Mexicans,” ended Mahabir.