Trinidad and Tobago forward Marcus Joseph wants to keep his new club W Connection on the upward trajectory towards becoming Pro League champions in 2017—which means dethroning his former employers and three-time holders, Central FC.
“It’s pretty good so far [at Connection],” said the 26-year-old Point Fortin-born Joseph. “I’ve learned so much more under (Connection) coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier and it has opened up my mind a lot more to the game. He is very [patient] in teaching the game so you can understand it a lot more.”
Joseph, who split with serial champions Central earlier this year, joined Connection in pre-season after a lengthy absence from the game due to a fallout with the Couva Sharks.
But it didn’t take long under the guidance of the Connection coaching staff for the 2013/14 Golden Boot winner to shake off the rust. With arguably one the deadliest left foot in the PL, Joseph scored the winning items in Connection’s opening wins against St. Ann’s Rangers (1-0) and Point Fortin Civic (2-1).
The former Civic and Central star most recently scored his team’s second goal in a top-of-the-table 2-2 draw against second-placed North East Stars as Connection maintained their place at the Pro League summit, albeit only goal-difference.
“The ambition is to help Connection win the League,” said Joseph, who scored three times in six appearances for his new club.
“I want to do all that I can for the team. I want to also win most goals this season but the ambition of the team comes first. So if I think a teammate is in a better position to score I will offer the chance to that person like I did in the games I haven’t scored this season.
“It may not always be the best decision, but I am working on improving my decision making up front as well as my scoring. We are all working on improving as a team at Connection and with a little more gelling and improvement on our finishing in front of goal, I think we can go on to win the league.”
Connection (4W-1D-1L; 13 points) must next face Defence Force from 4pm on Saturday July 28 at the Ato Boldon Stadium when the Pro League resumes this coming weekend following a break that facilitated Trinidad and Tobago’s Men’s National Team preparations for today’s (July 26) international friendly against Ecuador, in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
The friendly is part of the Soca Warriors preparations for remaining FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia Qualifiers against Honduras (at home on Sep. 1), Panama (away on Sep. 5), Mexico (away on Oct. 6) and the United States (at home on Oct. 10).
Trinidad and Tobago are currently bottom of the CONCACAF Hex, and Joseph believes poor finishing and decision making in the final third are also negatively affecting the national team.
“We haven’t been combining well in the final third at the national level also,” said Joseph, whose last call-up with the Soca Warriors was in November 2016 under coach Stephen Hart when he was an unused substitute in a 3-1 loss against hosts Honduras in World Cup qualifying.
“At the national level -- from looking on -- I can see we have improved in terms of possession but a lot of times we are let down by the final pass or decision-making, or in finishing. We must improve in the final third if we are to improve our chances at qualifying [for the World Cup 2018].”
Trinidad and Tobago head coach, Dennis Lawrence, who took up the post in January, is yet to call on the Connection forward but Joseph is determined to earn his pick.
Lawrence is assisted by Joseph’s current club coach, Fevrier, Central FC assistant coach Stern John, and former Central coach Ross Russell.
“I will get there (on the national team) again,” Joseph said. “I am motivated at club level to do well and improve my play in front of goal and in scoring. Although I am not around the national team right now, I am supporting the team and the coaches to do well.
We have a lot of good players at the national level and the coach (Lawrence) knows what he is looking for. He is seeing what I am not, so it’s up to me to continue working harder at improving my game and [hopefully] I can be part of the team for the remaining World Cup qualifiers to help my country try and qualify (Russia 2018).”