Soca Warriors assistant coach, Anton Corneal, has revealed that the coaching staff and team are hoping that some small miracle exists that aids Kenwyne Jones’ recuperation so that he may have a glimmer of hope in featuring in the World Cup Qualifier versus Barbados in Port-of-Spain on October 11.
Jones has been injured since the Carling Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspurs last week after pulling up with a hamstring problem.
Initially looking like he would face an extensive spell on the sidelines, fears were allayed as his club’s medical assessment indicated it was not as serious as initially feared.
Commenting on the likely absence of the new skipper, Corneal added, “The national team is training on Monday and Wednesday at the Ato Boldon Stadium and after those sessions, the head coach would be better able to gauge a sufficient replacement as captain.
Kenwyne is our powerhouse forward and a key asset but we have players who can replace him and get the job done once dedicated in training. Kenwyne will be missed but there is no automatic choice to replace him.
It’s all up to the head coach and staff monitoring the players in training before deeming who is fit to lead the team come the qualifiers away to Bermuda and at home to Barbados.”
Corneal affirmed, “We cannot say who is close to being the captain as yet but we have ample time to analyse our top-quality players, for example Carlos Edwards, who is experienced and a talisman as well. He is one who has the ability to run out as our captain.”
Focussing on who can take up the mantle of the key striker role to fill Jones’ vacancy up front, he elaborated, “We have a good squad that once assessed, we can tell who has the better chemistry on the field, and using this knowledge of who compliments who well, then a proper justification will be made as to who will don the role(s) up front and fill the void left by Kenwyne.
Every game is important and it is competitive within the squad to see who is ready, able and willing to step up. This healthy competition enables us to see which players are best-suited, whether it be to start the game or don the armband and lead.”
Jones is eyeing a return to Premier League action against Fulham on October 15 as he missed the Manchester United game, and is also expected to sit out the Europa League game against Besiktas, and domestic tie against Swansea.
Caution will be exercised on Jones’ fitness and playing time as his club will not want him rushed back on international duty and have already hinted they would want him rested during the international break. Stoke’s assistant manager Dave Kemp confirmed, “Kenwyne is expected to miss our next three games and after the international break we want to give him some time to get back up and running again.”