Striker Kerry Baptiste is hoping to continue his pressing form over the next few days and improve Russell Latapy’s attacking options in Saturday’s 2010 World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica.
View Collin Samuel's interview
View Warriors session in Tobago
“I know it’s going to be difficult to make the starting team ahead of the strikers we have right now but if the coach has me in his squad then my main role is to give him options and to be at my best in training at all times. This would give him options and it will also mean that the other strikers have to know that I’m right there waiting to grab the opportunity,” the 27-year-old Joe Public goal getter told TTFF Media on Tuesday.
Baptiste scored hattricks in the two training matches against Tobago United and a Tobago eleven over the past few days and he thinks that Latapy is getting the players to work harder as they prepare to face the Costa Ricans.
“He’s getting us to understand our roles and how he wants us to play. He has gotten me to train and perform at a higher level so far… so when I have my opportunity I’m going all out to try and take it/ It’s good being able to score three goals in a game but that doesn’t make it any easier for me because I’m up against strikers like Cornell Glen, Kenwyne and Scotty. These guys are top strikers and if I can keep pressing them and it makes them improve their game to get us goals and results, then that is what is most important right now,” Baptiste added.
T&T trained on Tuesday evening at the Dwight Yorke Stadium and will follow the action in Costa Rica’s World Cup qualifier against United States via television on Wednesday.
Meantime, Latapy was featured on fifa.com following an interview conducted in Tobago on Sunday. The former Falkirk player/coach made it clear that he wasn’t overly worried about facing Costa Rica and Mexico in back to back matches.
“It's nothing to get too worried about, really. At this level of international football there are no easy games to speak of, so we're not getting too caught up in things like that. I don't know of any managerial job that is easy, but I would have liked a little more time to have had the whole team together and to get across my philosophy a little clearer to all the players. But we've done well so far and, with a bit of luck, things could go our way,” Latapy said.
Commenting on his style of play, he added, “Well, the style I'd want the lads to play would be the style that helps us get results [laughs]. I want the players to know their strengths and weaknesses as individuals and also as a team, and tailor the way they play after taking that into account. It's a pretty pragmatic approach.”
And asked whether he will put on the number 10 shirt and how’s transition going from player to coach, Latapy had this to say.
“It really depends. I can still play in the training sessions, but I must admit that at this level it is extremely difficult to do both the playing and the coaching. Right now I think I need to focus on the coaching side of things, but I can't rule anything out either. With a little more time and a little better physical preparation, sure, I might still have some minutes left in me.
“It's true, there's not a lot of distance there. I was a player, and now I'm the coach. I think it might help me in the long run, because it gives me two points of view. I can see the game in training like a player and then from a different perspective as the coach on the sidelines. I think it's a positive thing,” the ex-Porto midfielder stated.
Spann weighs options
Still contracted to English club Wrexham, midfielder Silvio Spann says he could try to look at other options for the new season.
Spann made a return to the National team for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico but insists that he will return to England to play next season.
“I am still with Wrexham but there are some other possibilities that I am looking at. Every player aspires to play in a higher division and I always want to test myself. In saying that I have to remain committed to my club which is Wrexham at the moment,” Spann said.
Wrexham finished 10th in the Blue Squares Premier League and manager Dean Saunders is looking to restructure his squad during preseason which includes a friendly against Coventry City on July 11.
“I know the club is still ambitious and their main aim is to get back into Division Two.I would love to help them but we will see what transpires for the new season,” Spann added.