Wed, Jun

Striker Stern John has made a promise to step up his game for Trinidad and Tobago in the 2006 World Cup qualifying series with a top notch performance in Saturday’s match against Guatemala at the Mateo Flores Stadium.

The Coventry City forward made the commitment to bounce back from what he described as a shallow performance in T&T’s last qualifying match against the United States a little less than two months ago and is vowing to deliver the goods in the crucial away match.

The last time John came up big for the country was in the semi-final round away match to St Kitts/Nevis when his last minute winner did the trick but since then he has not responded to the call for goals.

“To be fair I haven’t done anything as such in the qualifying series and I think you always needs special performances when the big games come around and this one in Guatemala is definitely a major one for us, “ John told TTFF Media prior to the team’s departure from Miami on Thursday.

“If you want to be known as a big player and you name is well respected like back home and so on, then you need to live up to that name and I think the only way is to let the goals do the rest. Maybe it’s pressure I’m putting on myself but I certainly want to be able to look back say yes I have made a contribution on the road to Germany,” the former Columbus Crew star added. "The rest of the guys have looked pretty good and everyone seems up for this game and I think once we can all chip in with decent performance, I see no reason why we cannot pull off a result on Saturday."

Along with his teammates, John relaxed for most of Wednesday following the training match with Atlanta Silverbacks and is now expecting the charges will be ready for the vital match.

Some of the players were treated to local dishes at Kidd’s Island Bakery and Breakfast Shed in Miramar owned by Trinidadian Sheldon Thomas and Dwight Yorke even got a chance to take time out on the Sunrise Hilton golf course. Other Trinidadians also stopped by the Hotel to wish the team well as well as to get signatures and photos taken with their “Warriors”.

The team was expected to arrive in Guatemala City around 7pm with no injuries to report. Dallas FC striker Cornell Glen is definitely out having not yet fully recovered from an ankle blow while striker Scott Sealy may not join the squad for Saturday but, according to team official Richard Braithwaite, he is expected to return for the March 30 qualifier against Costa Rica at the Hasely Crawford Stadium.

St Clair is carded to have one evening session on Friday.

“We must get in there and settle down because being away from home, we must be prepared for anything and therefore it is important that we remain focused on the task ahead of us,” said St Clair.

The 18 players off to Guatemala include:

 Shaka Hislop, Clayton Ince, Dennis Lawrence, Kenwyne Jones, Atiba Charles, Keyeno Thomas, Anton Pierre, Marlon Rojas, Brent Sancho, Silvio Spann, Nigel Henry,Leslie Fitzpatrick, Angus Eve, Carlos Edwards, Dwight Yorke, Nigel Pierre, Hector Sam and  Stern John,