Trinidad and Tobago’s National Senior Footballers will go into their final 2010 campaign encounter with the hopes of trying to salvage a closing victory as they seek to put the disappointment of missing out on South Africa behind them and turn the chapter to Brazil 2014.
This is what assistant coach Dwight Yorke said would be the attempt as the “Soca Warriors” close off the final round against Mexico from 8pm at the Hasely Crawford Stadium on Wednesday.
Defender Keston Williams has been drafted in by head coach Russell Latapy with central defenders Julius James and Radanfah Abu Bakr both suspended while midfielder Keon Daniel has been ruled out through injury.
Yorke, speaking before a huge Mexican media presence at training on Monday, emphasized the importance of playing, not just for pride but setting the pace for the future.
“It’s vitally important that we still go out there and play as if there is something we can take away from the game. We know the disappointment that we have all experienced but it makes no sense dwelling on that. Football goes on and so do our careers. We have got to put everything aside and move on from here,” Yorke said.
“Despite the defeat in Costa Rica, I think it was valuable experience for the players, especially the younger ones. I thought Marvin Phillip was particularly good and the young lad Jake Thomson was able to get his debut plus we’ve had the under 20 players training with the squad.
And I’ve said to them that they know what it is to go into a hostile situation like Costa Rica and come away with that kind of defeat.
It’s not something you want to experience but it’s not something you also want to forget easily because now you know you have got to meet Costa Rica again at some point and you don’t want to go through that sickening feeling like we did after the loss.
“The gaffer (Latapy) and myself were speaking before the game and we were saying to each other that these were the kind of games we longed to play in and it made us feel like putting our shirts on and getting out there.
This is what the current group of players have got to have inside of them as well. When it’s most hostile and seems harder than anything else, that’s when you’ve got to lift yourself and want to go out there and face the battle,” added the ex-Aston Villa man.
The Mexicans arrived on Monday night at 11 and both teams will train at the HC Stadium on the eve of the match.
They arrived without Barcelona defender Rafael Marquez who picked up a yellow card in the 4-1 win over El Salvador, ruling him out of Wednesday’s affair. Also missing the trip is West Ham United’s Guillermo Franco.
Mexico head coach Javier Aguirre said he still expected his side to play to win.
“We are very happy to have booked our qualification for South Africa. It was for the people of Mexico and great pride and passion displayed by our players. This is for all of them. But we still have one more game to play on Wednesday and I expect my players will go out and try to end on a winning note,” Aguirre said.
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