Technical Adviser to the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation, Keith Look Loy is confident in the ability of “Soca Warriors” coach, Otto Pfister to lead the national team the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He admitted that the national coach has already encountered some obstacles but is working around them and adjusting himself and the players as well.
“Against India, Pfister found himself in a situation where he had to select players who were literally playing for this country (for) the first time. They were joined by the few players who came in from abroad for the warm-up match.
A lot of the players were still abroad and he did not have access to them. We tried to get as much matches before the World Cup qualifiers began. The match against India was basically local players, and they rightfully have to be given the opportunity too. My opinion was that (defender) Seon Power was absolutely dominant” stated Look Loy.
He explained that Pfister had no choice but to put Anthony Warner in the goal for the opening qualifier against Bermuda as it was the only way to see what Warner had to offer to the local squad.
“Pfister was in a hard place but has a long professional career behind him. Pfister never saw him (Warner) play and was not going to trust seeing him train alone. So he decided to start him against Bermuda. He had to test Warner.
Pfister had to see what he could and could not do. It would have been a difficult situation for him if he brought Warner from way across in New Zealand to sit on the bench. He has to look at the players in every way, especially on the field of play,” he said.
The TTFF Technical Adviser went on to commend Pfister for substituting Khaleem Hyland for Keon Daniel in the qualifier versus Bermuda. He reiterated that the national coach made a successful tactical strategy that many people may not realise and agree to.
“People may say that Hyland scored in a Champions League qualifier and he was benched, so ‘out with Pfister’. I think this was a correct and brave move that he made. It was only in about 27-30 minutes when he (was) substituted. It was right because Hyland did not have the required game play at that time. It was a risk that had to be made,” added Look Loy.
He continued, “Hyland is definitely in the plan for the national team but he (Pfister) understands that Hyland is one of those players who needs to play on a regular basis to get the best out of him. Now, it’s two games, three goals, none against. He has a much clearer idea now, of how and who he wants to proceed to other qualifiers.”
The Santa Rosa FC president hailed the track record of the coach and believes he is the right man for the job of leading TT to football’s biggest stage in Brazil.
“He’s a man who has been involved in many projects. He’s already won the African Cup of Nations, been to the World Cup four or five times before with four different teams. He has even won the United Arab Emirates Championship. This is not a guaranteed success here but it is clear that Pfister is going all out and really trying,” asserted Look Loy.
He expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of some of the overseas pros and asserted that they need to elevate their play for the remainder of the campaign. A couple of the professional players who were selected did not come up to par. Players also need to take responsibility for their own performance, regardless of how well the entire team is playing,” explained Look Loy.