Soca Warriors captain Kenwyne Jones says it was nice for his team to get back some respect following their 4-0 defeat of Dominican Republic in their Caribbean Football Union Cup Final Group Four qualifier, at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva on Wednesday.
The T&T striker who celebrated his 32nd birthday on the day, failed to add to his 23 goals tally from 84 appearances, however he had a hand in three of the goals with Kevin Molino, getting a hat-trick, his second against the same opponents in two matches and Cordell Cato, the other.
The win saw T&T take the early lead in the three-team series, which also includes Martinique, ahead of its final match away to the French-speaking islands next Tuesday at Stade Municipal, Pierre-Aliker, Fort-de-France. Dominican Republic is also set to host Martinique on Saturday at the Estadio Panamerican, San Cristobal.
At the end of the series, the winner will qualify to the CFU Cup Finals and the Concacaf Gold Cup set for next year.
Jones reflected on the 4-0 away loss to USA in the Concacaf semifinal on September 6. “After the last qualifier I think it was a good way for us to get back at home and gain some respect.”
“We have some stuff that we needed to work on and get back too and I think tonight we did that.”
Despite failing to find the target, Jones said he was happy for the guys that scored. “It will give us that confidence going into the next round. These two games are must win situations for us in order to qualify for the Concacaf Gold Cup and again the victory is important in both ways, in terms of qualifying and also to give us that confidence going forward to the next game and even next month’s matches in the World Cup qualifiers.”
Pressed for a comment on his own performance, the former England-based T&T striker said, “I’m happy with it, but disappointed that I could not get a goal on such a special day.”
Looking ahead, Jones said, “It’s important that we all chip in coming into the next stages, well firstly the next game and then the next stages of the Hex. Again these two games are just for the immediate future of qualifying for the Gold Cup and we are going to play and try and win by any means necessary and also to work on the weaknesses we have and try to go forward from there.”
Commenting on the negative comments about his own performance, Jones said the outside noise doesn’t affect the team.
“We know what we have to do, we know what we are lacking and where we are strong. So when we get together we train and try to work on that because at the end of the day there is nobody that’s going to help us to do the job that we need to do, other than us. I don’t want to be self serving and take praises, but me being more involved in linking up play is nothing new as I have been doing that for quite a long time,” stated Jones.
“For every match we play I will be heavily marked because of my status which is going to free up players like Kevin Molino, Joevin Jones, Cordell Cato, Levi Garcia and Shahdon Winchester or whoever plays in the position.”
“There are opportunities for them to feed off as you can see from Molino tonight or even back to the last Caribbean Cup and the form that he had.”