Sun, Jun

Warriors warm up before training on Monday.

Three Points will again be the order of the day when this country’s Senior Men’s Team face off with St Vincent and the Grenadines in their second World Cup qualifying meeting in five day at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 7pm.

The “Soca Warriors” will be aiming for a marked improved in their display but more importantly will know that anything but three points could increase their challenge of making it into the final qualifying round when the two final semi-final phase matches come around in September.

According to head coach Stephen Hart, his players are fully aware of the scenario as it relates to their position at the moment and what the requirements will become by the time they face Guatemala in Port of Spain and then travel to face the USA in a few months time.

“Oh yes, for sure everyone is quite aware of the position we are in at this time,” Hart told TTFA Media following a morning session at the Hasely Crawford on Monday.

“We have this game to focus on and there is a strong purpose head into it which is to not just play well but to ensure we gather the three points. We do not intend to get into a false sense of believing anything is achieved before we actually take care of business,” Hart said.

Currently T&T top the group with seven points, closely followed by Guatemala (six points) with the USA (four) and St Vincent in the bottom place without a point. The top two teams will qualify for the final round in 2017.

The mood in the T&T camp remains an upbeat one coming off the spirited 3-2 victory at Arnos Vale on Friday.

“The spirit is fantastic. There is good competition among the players and then there is a bit of banter and some jokes flying around but when it’s time to be serious they have trained very well.

“I think the words I said is that we approached the wrong game with the wrong attitude which is very different. These players have a fantastic attitude. They work well, they have good camaraderie but sometimes we switch of mentally and that’s what I meant You have to go into the game in the same way as if you were playing the US or Mexico. You have to approach games in a very professional manner,” Hart added.

The squad is injury free heading into the match but Hart did not count out the possibility of changes to his line up.

“I think we might have to make a few adjustments just or keep us fresh but the nucleus of the squad will remain. I watched the game twice and really when I watched it back a second time, we didn’t do as badly as I thought. We just didn’t take our chances and just sometimes we were a little bit disorganized in terms of defending the ball,” Hart said.

“And it would be nice to see a good crowd and it’s important that we have that push for the next three games,” Hart added.

In the last World Cup qualifying meeting between the two teams at the Hasely Crawford it took second half goals from Hector Sam and Angus Eve to erase a 1-0 deficit in the final semi-final round game in the qualification for Germany 2006.

Gates open at 4pm and the match kicks off at 7pm.Tickets will be on sale at the game venue from 10 am. The United States will host Guatemala in the group’s other encounter in Columbus on Tuesday.


Coach Hart wants improved display.
By Joel Bailey (Newsday).

TRINIDAD AND Tobago football team, dubbed the “Soca Warriors” will be seeking their second straight win in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers CONCACAF Zone Fourth Round Group C meeting against the St Vincent/Grenadines team, known as the “Vincey Heat”.

This game will be contested today, from 7 pm, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo.

The TT team, under the direction of coach Stephen Hart, lead Group C with seven points from three games, followed by Guatemala (who will visit the United States today) with six points, the US with four points and St Vincent/ Grenadines with no points.

On Friday, the TT squad needed a pair of goals from 18-yearold debutant midfielder Levi Garcia to earn a come-from-behind 2-1 victory over the “Vincey Heat” at the Arnos Vale Recreation Ground, Kingstown, St Vincent.

Reflecting on Friday’s match, Hart, during a training session at the Mucurapo venue on Sunday, said, “we had some good possession.

We controlled that aspect of the game, especially in the first half. But the final pass into those areas where we can get goals was a little bit lacking. The chances we did get, we weren’t clinical enough.

“When we didn’t have the ball, they were playing a direct game and, instead of us taking away the opportunity to play direct and force them to play between us, we dropped off way too deep and some mistakes happened.

And we paid the price for it.” As far as today’s game is concerned, Hart stated, “the most difficult thing when you play away from home is the pitch.

It’s a different playing surface (at Mucurapo). I will like us to control the tempo of the game but not move the ball too slowly, (just) be a bit more clinical in front of goal.” Hart raised eyebrows with the use of wing-back Justin Hoyte as a right-winger on Friday.

The TT coach pointed out, “it’s a World Cup qualifying game.

The idea was the efficiency of the team. I thought he did some fantastic things for us, he got into good positions. He hit some crosses that, on another day, we could have gotten something out of it.

“But when I asked him if he can do the midfield job he said ‘no problem’,” he added. “I think he did better than people actually realise.” Though he admitted his displeasure with the lackadaisical attitude, at times, from his players on Friday, Hart insisted that he will not be making wholesale changes today.

“It’s football, you have ups and downs, and as I looked at the game again, we did some very good things on a difficult pitch,” he commented.

“What we need to do to is to be a little bit sharper in the things that makes us more efficient.

You have to cut down on your errors.” With Guatemala defeating US 2-0 on Friday to move up to second spot, Hart was asked if the TT players will be nervous since it’s a virtual three-horse race for the top two places in Group C - the top two will advance to the CONCACAF Zone Final Round next year.

“No,” he replied. “It’s a World Cup qualification (match). The objective is to get a result in every game that you play. I am not in control of the United States or Guatemala. I always felt you will need about 11 or 12 points to qualify.”