Dexter Skeene, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the TT Pro League, is expecting the “Soca Warriors” to overcome the challenge of Guyana to advance to the Third Round of the CONCACAF Zone in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The Otto Pfister-coached “Warriors” will be facing the Jamaal Shabazz-coached Guyana on November 11 at the Providence Stadium and in Trinidad and Tobago on November 15.
Trinidad and Tobago are currently in second spot in the four-team Group “B” with nine points from four matches, one adrift of the Guyanese.
Barbados and Bermuda, who are both out of contention for a spot in the Third Round, will be meeting each other on November 11 (in Bermuda) and 15 (in Barbados).
Captain Kenwyne Jones and midfielder Chris Birchall missed the recent games against Bermuda (October 7) and Barbados (October 11) due to injuries, but both are expected to return to the fold against Guyana.
Also due to return to the national team is winger Carlos Edwards, who did not play in the last two qualifiers due to the birth of his twins.
“I would expect Trinidad and Tobago to do well,” said Skeene, who played 13 times for Trinidad and Tobago from 1988-1991.
“We would expect the return of all of the foreign-based players (including) Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards.
“Given the return of these players, and when you mix them up with all the locals,” he continued. “All the players would be available so I expect a victory.”
Concerning the atmosphere which may face the “Warriors” in Guyana, Skeene noted, “you will have the away support, just like any away game, but I would expect us still, with our experience and our exposure, and with the experienced Otto Pfister at the helm, you’ll really expect us to win.”
The winner of Group “B” will join a pair of automatic qualifiers Mexico and Costa Rica, as well as El Salvador, the winner of Group “A”, in the Third Round, scheduled from June 8 to October 16 2012.
Also sharing the same sentiments were ex-national midfielders/strikers Angus Eve and Marlon Morris.
On an interview on October 14, Eve admitted, “it is a likelihood that Trinidad and Tobago can lose to Guyana, but with the return of the likes of Jones, Birchall and Edwards, I think we can come out on top.”
And Morris pointed out that Pfister will come under fire if Trinidad and Tobago stumble against Guyana.
“He’s an experienced coach and I think once the team plays well under pressure, we can move on to the next stage.”
Former national captain Clayton Morris and his Strike Squad striker Philbert Jones were both unavailable for comment.