“Long flight and maybe the legs were a bit tired at first but the fans don’t want to hear about that so I’ve got to put it behind me and get on with the work and prepare well for the game.”
Those were the words from defender Carlyle Mitchell following his second day of training with the Men’s Senior Team at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium ahead of Friday’s crucial 2018 World Cup qualifier against Honduras. Mitchell had just a day earlier stepped off a plane with T&T forward Willis Plaza following their 18-hour of traveling from India where the two players are full-time professionals with East Bengal FC.
Mitchell scored T&T’s lone goal in the 3-1 loss to Honduras last November in San Pedro Sula. This time, he thinks it’s a period that should go well for the hosts.
“We know it is going to be an extremely difficult match but like the coach said, we are going into a ring, we will get hit, we will get a few knocks but we’ve got to pick ourselves up and get on with the match and ensure we come out on top at the last whistle,” Mitchell told TTFA Media. “Dennis (Lawrence) is a very serious man when it comes to preparation and matches. We know the team has been playing well but the reality is we’ve lost our all last five matches and we have to ensure this does not happen on Friday.”
“We have to defend well but score goal when we attack as well. That is our main objective because we need to win.”
T&T trained on Wednesday evening at Mannie Ramjohn Stadium while Honduras got a feel of local conditions with an early morning session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium training field. Both team will have their official one-hour sessions at the Ato Boldon Stadium on Thursday evening. T&T’s final player to arrive on Wednesday night will be Kazakhstan-based defender Sheldon Bateau.
Also expecting the encounter to be a gripping one is Honduras-based goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams. Both he and Daneil Cyrus are attached to Juticalpa FC and have started their season coming up against some of the Honduran national players in the league including Olimpia striker Carlo Costly who has bene recalled to the side for Friday’s match.
“The Hondurans are extremely passionate about football and about this game and we have to ensure we match them with passion and aggression on Friday and be even better than them,” Williams said on Wednesday while at the team base at Cara Suites Hotel.
“We used the time to look around and observe everything about Honduras football. The league is very competitive and physical and that will transfer into the game on Friday,” he said.
“Preparations have gone very well and we have had in the back of our minds for the last two games how important this game is. Trinidadians are people that tend to operate when their backs against the wall. Culturally this is one of our strength and weakness. I think it is sad where we have had to come to a situation where we are desperately in need of points but on Friday we will use that situation to work in our favour where we need the points to stay alive in the qualification bid,” Williams added.
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