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#19 - Keon DanielTrinidad and Tobago’s leading scorer in the 2010 South Africa World Cup Qualifying campaign Keon Daniel says he’s not feeling any pressure to perform against El Salvador in Wednesday’s encounter at the Estadio Cuscatlan.
The diminutive midfielder found the target in three of T&T’s six matches in their previous semi-final round including the most recent 3-0 win over Cuba at the Hasely Crawford Stadium. But the Tobago-born player is more likely to have a more vivid memory of his goal in a 1-0 win over El Salvador at the Marvin Lee Stadium last year. That was his first international goal for T&T.

And though without a club at the moment, his name is popular among the El Salvador media. They know he’s the country’s top marksman with four goals. Carlos Los Cobos and his men will no doubt be aware of his ability. But the player is nonetheless bothered by that.

“It’s no pressure for me really. Yes it’s not a game to take for granted because at the end of the day we have a job to do and we cannot see it as an easy job. But in terms of added pressure on me… it’s not the case. I just have to be ready to fire away on Wednesday,” Daniel told TTFF Media.

The former National U-20 player revealed that currently English club Wolverhampton Wanderers are pursuing his services as well as there is an interest from a club in Turkey, USA, Norway and one from Trinidad.

“There is some interest but the timing now is for Trinidad and trying to make sure we have the best possible start to this round because the next game at home against Honduras will be a real tough one for us.”

“I’m coming off a niggling injury and I was working on my fitness in Argentina but come game time I’ll be firing. I’ve prepared for this game mentally by reflecting on our past matches. WE know this team pretty well so I think the guys just have to come together and work for each other out there and play for the country”

“But they (El Salvador) are at home and no team likes to lose at home but we must show them that we don’t like to lose at home. We need to stay strong at the back and don’t give away anything cheaply,” Daniel added. “We know each other and the understanding is getting better.”

Daniel also spoke of the relationship he has with former National coach Bertille St Clair… something similar to that of what T&T captain Dwight Yorke had with the Tobago-born.

“That came from youth days and I’ve known him since I was five years playing with St Clair Coaching School. He’s really like a father figure to me and we sometimes even stay in touch when I’m away from home. I think I really just want to do well and give back to people like him and others who have helped me.

“I lost my mom six years ago so at nights I keep reminiscing on the times I spent with her and some of the conversations we had. She is my biggest inspirations and some those experiences with her will never leave me. Things like that keeps me focused and keeps me in a certain frame of mind.  Then I have my brothers and sisters, my father and Bertille there on the other end. They have filled that space left by my mom. I just to keep on track. She always said that nothing comes easy so that sticks with me right through. It’s the same with the football. I don’t think anything will come easy for Trinidad and Tobago… so we just have to keep working towards the success,” Daniel concluded.

The quota of overseas-based pros will join the team at the Radisson on Sunday and head coach Francisco Maturana arrives on Saturday after witnessing the El Salvador/Peru friendly in Los Angeles on Friday. Assistant Coach Russell Latapy overlooked Friday’s outfield training session on Friday afternoon under sunny but windy conditions. The twelve players also worked out in the hotel gym on Friday morning.