Trinidad and Tobago striker Stern John was "disgusted", questioning the "passion and desire" of some of his teammates.
But T&T senior coach Bertille St Clair was "satisfied" and believed his squad would improve "step by step" after the national team's 3-1 defeat to Mexico in their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier at the Hasely Crawford Stadium last Wednesday evening.
In front of a big 20,000-odd partisan crowd, T&T suffered their first defeat in this stage of their World Cup qualifying campaign after wins against the minnows of the group, St Vincent and St Kitts.
John, currently with Birmingham City in the English Premier League, was seen holding his head forlornly outside the T&T locker room following the game.
And in an interview with the media, the star striker vented his true feelings.
"I think after the first two minutes, we dug ourselves a hole," he exclaimed. "And I think the guys never came out and showed that passion. I think some of the players really need to look at themselves and really see if they really want to play football for Trinidad and Tobago."
John insisted, however, that he would "always want to play for T&T because this is my country".
But, he added: "I think some of the guys aren't showing any passion or desire to win. You know, like they just don't care...some people were walking about the field. I mean, it's a team, but I'm very disgusted."
John believed the senior team let down the country and the overwhelming support at the stadium.
"I don't know, we need to get it together quick," he stated. "I mean, we are at home and this is one of the biggest fan supports we have got in, like five years, and I think we disappointed our fans in the first two minutes of the game," Mexico opening the scoring after just 25 seconds.
Saying he was not going to "point any fingers", John said the red, white and black-clad national team never pushed the Mexicans.
"I think Mexico never really came out and made them play hard," John claimed. "They played in second gear for the whole game. We never pushed them into third gear. They were walking about the pitch and they never really had any body tackling them or any of that. It's just disappointing."
John continued: "But we can't reach this far and give up now. It's only one loss. We have to look at ourselves...players have to play with more passion and we come out and work hard and get it going from the next game."
Coach St Clair was much more optimistic, though.
Besides the "bad start" and "easy goals" given up, he believed T&T got into their stride.
"Later on in the match we started to get into the game, until we gave another two easy goals," said St Clair.
Saying he was "hurt" by the result, he was not overly bothered by the mistakes that cost his team three goals.
"We made errors and if you make errors, you pay," stated St Clair. "But I'm satisfied with the progress the team is making to date."
He added that the national squad needed to take things "step by step" and the important thing is that T&T would probably get through to the final stage of qualifying.
"Every game you learn something and you grow with it and eventually when we get to that hurdle we will work on it," said St Clair.
Trinidad and Tobago's next game is against St Kitts and Nevis on October 10 at home and their remaining games in the series will be played on October 13 in Mexico and November 17 at home against SVG.
In Related News, BCFC.COM reported that Birmingham City coach Steve Bruce has this morning confirmed that the club have agreed a fee with Championship sides Coventry City and Nottingham Forest for Stern John and it was now up to the player to make his decision.
The Trinidad and Tobago international has only returned to the club today from international duty and Bruce admitted that he hadn't had the opportunity to speak to his striker. The Blues boss did reveal that John will not be part of the Blues squad that travels up to Middlesbrough this afternoon as he spends the next couple of days pondering his next move.
"We've agreed a fee with a couple of clubs, Coventry and Forest," said Bruce. "Unfortunately Stern has only just got back from Trinidad and Tobago today, so I haven't had the chance to speak to him personally. "We've left it up to the lad and I'll give him the weekend to make sure he picks the one that is best for him. "The hardest part when you get to this level is keeping everyone happy. Obviously you're going to get a few disgruntled players. "I think Stern accepted being one of the four strikers but with the addition of Dwight Yorke, his chances are going to be limited. "I know he wants to play football. He is a great player and will do a good job for someone."
Bruce paid tribute to the 27-year-old who played an integral role in getting the club promoted to the Premiership. "I am going to go with four strikers but, if I'm being truthful, Stern is probably my favourite," admitted the Blues manager. "He has done fantastically well for us and he probably got us where we are now with eight goals in 15 games when he first arrived for £100,000 from Notts Forest. "He scored the winner at Millwall in the play-off semi-final and the assist for Geoff Horsfield in the final. "He has done more than most, that's for sure, and it is a big wrench that he will be leaving."