FORMER national captain, Clayton Morris, says he is not surprised by the Soca Warriors shock 2-0 defeat to Antigua and Barbuda on Sunday in the Caribbean Cup finals currently being held in Antigua.
The defeat left Trinidad and Tobago on the brink of early elimination after the “Warriors” were held to a 0-0 draw against Haiti in their opening match of Group ‘A’.
“To be honest, I am not surprised by that result. The team is once again at the rebuilding stage. We just had an addition to the team, I was concerned — and I did express that with Jamal Shabazz — about having two heads in one team because it’s impossible to have two head coaches,” he said.
Morris, a stalwart at defence for T&T in the past, also expressed disappointment that the national team could fail for the third straight time to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup and also miss the chances of possibly testing themselves against the region’s best like USA, Mexico and Honduras.
“The Gold Cup is something we should be qualifying for on a regular basis. That would be very disappointing if we don’t advance. There is something we are not doing right. We need to go back to the drawing board,” he declared.
Asked whether the senior men’s team was a lost cause and if the Ministry of Sport was right to “focus...on development given the abysmal performance of the senior team,” Morris said he is in full support of the emphasis on youth programmes but does not feel the senior team should be cast aside.
“I support the youth programmes but where is the development starting from? It is at the Primary Schools that we should start. You have coaches in Secondary Schools complaining that the players don’t have the passion for the game and you can’t try to acquire that at that level. We must start with the Under-10 age group,” he urged.
The ex-Strike Squad defender was also baffled by TT’s lack of cutting edge in front goal as they have yet to register a goal in the tournament after 180 minutes of football.
“I haven’t seen the national team play in a while but from the Pro League, you have guys like Devorn Jorsling and Richard Roy banging in the goals for their teams, but then again, (you must ask yourself) who are they scoring against. Not scoring says there is either a problem in creation of opportunities or the execution,” he continued.
Questioned whether TT are officially no longer a powerhouse in the Caribbean with defeats versus Guyana (in World Cup qualifying) and now Antigua, Morris was in total agreement.
“Teams will always come at us with firepower. It’s always a joy (for Caribbean teams) to play us and beat us. They have now lost their respect totally for TT football. The respect is definitely dwindling away,” he concluded.