National head coach Leo Beenhakker explained his reasons for closed doors session in the final build up to this country’s 2006 World Cup qualifier against Guatemala on Saturday from 4:30pm.
Beenhakker was quizzed by local reporters who appeared as if it was some strange form of preparation causing the Dutchman to explain that it was used worldwide.
"Well… yah. One of the things is that with Russell in the team, we have to reorganise our schedule a little bit. Why should I play my cards open before Saturday? It's not that you have any secrets, but sometimes it's good to work within the team without any interference from outside. Especially, when you make some changes within the team. It’s normal in international football,” Beenhakker said after Thursday evening’s session after local reporters were allowed into the Stadium following the actual work on the pitch.
He also made it clear that returning midfielder Russell Latapy, he felt, was match-fit.
"He is fit to start the game. But of course you have to understand that the way international football is playing now, especially the way Guatemala is playing. And they are playing very fast and so on. On the other side, he has in his luggage, and I say that with all my respects, only the last four years in matches at club level, First and Second Division in Scotland. You can see that he is a true professional both on and off the field. So there will be a difference on Saturday, but at least he is fit to start. He made a very good impression on me. It's the first time I have worked with him, so let's see if he has the strength and the physical preparation to play 90 minutes. I don't know. But at least he can start,” the former Ajax boss added.
He went on to say that the absence of Kenwyne Jones, Dennis Lawrence and Collin Samuel would obviously have some effect on his plans for the match.
“They (except Lawrence) were in there when I prepared the list for this match but that is also part of football. We know there will always be guys who are suspended or injured. We had just three or four sessions to make a team for this game. It's not too long but we have worked hard and gone out with the job. Everyone as you can see is in good spirits and looking forward, knowing what the role is for Saturday."
The team will have one further session at match time at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Friday.