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Fri, Oct

Lawrence keeping tabs on CONCACAF opponents.
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DENNIS LAWRENCE, coach of the Trinidad and Tobago football team, is keeping tabs on his opponents, even though the national squad are not involved at the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States.

Trinidad and Tobago are still involved at the 2018 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Final Round Qualifiers, but are rooted at the bottom of the six-team standings with three points from six games. T&T will be meeting Honduras on September 1, followed by an away clash against Panama on September 5. 

They will also face United States (at home) and Mexico (away) in October. 

During a media conference on Tuesday, at the Larry Gomes Stadium in Arima, Lawrence said, “I’ve got my match analyst who is working closely with me, where I’m taking notes of the games. He’s there watching some of the games. 

“The idea is we’ll try and build our reports,” he added. “If you look at the Gold Cup, apart from Honduras, most of the teams are using relatively different squads. 

But we are keeping our eyes on it and making sure that we are prepared.” Recently, the trio of goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams, defender Daneil Cyrus and Jamille Boatswain have earned professional contracts in Central America, with Williams and Cyrus based with Juticalpa in Honduras, while Boatswain is plying his trade with Deportiva Alajuelense in Costa Rica. 

“I’ve (spoken) to (all three) players,” noted Lawrence. “I think it’s fantastic for them to go out and get a different experience. 

I’m hoping that the experience that they’re going to have will help them to become better players, because every opportunity for a player to improve on himself, I think, it’s a good thing for him. 

“I’m pleased for the boys. 

They’ve worked hard. I think they deserve whatever rewards they’re getting. And, as long as they remain focus, I’ll be delighted for them. Hopefully it will benefit Trinidad and Tobago football.” Lawrence played most of his professional career in the United Kingdom, with Wrexham (2001- 2006) and Swansea City (2006- 2009). 

Currently, there are no T&T player involved in the top leagues in England. 

According to Lawrence, “I’ve got mixed feelings with the contractual situation because what I’ve come to know is that the players now are trying to focus on obtaining contracts and not focus on being the best player that they can be at their football clubs. And I think that hampers (their) chances. 

“I think everybody understands that to get to the UK now for us is not (an easy) situation because FIFA rankings, for the first thing, affects where the situation with the boys getting work permits. So I think the first thing that we need to do is make sure that the boys are performing for their clubs. 

“Once they start performing for their clubs, it benefits the national team, then we can improve, we can progress, we can climb up the FIFA rankings and the doors are open again. So I think the most important thing, especially for the young players to understand, (is that) you have to do well for your football club. Just concentrate on playing for your football club and the rest will take care of itself,” Lawrence ended.