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National Under 23 team captain Sheldon Bateau knows fully well that today’s encounter versus Cuba is a key one in T&T’s quest to restore some pride by qualifying for the 2012 Olympics and erasing at least some disappointment of a failed 2014 World Cup campaign.

Bateau will wear the armband from 6pm at Warner Park in St Kitts against a tricky Cuba outfit which has defeated T&T in this same tournament in the past. But with the likes of Kevin Molino and several other members of the T&T squad of the 2009 FIFA Under 20 World Cup involved, a lot of hopes are pinned on them doing well.

“This is our chance to try and bring something positive into the football. The boys understand that and we will have to put our heads down and get the result that can help us qualify for the next round.

Right now most of these teams don’t really fear us. They see an opportunity to get the better of us and we are hurting from going out of World Cup so early. But we cannot hide from it. We need to go out there and fight to put ourselves back on the map,” Bateau said.