Former head coach of the national senior football team Stephen Hart has urged local fans to continue supporting the Red Army team, while former Strike Squad skipper Clayton ‘JB’ Morris believes whoever replaces Hart would expose the failures of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) administration.
Hart made the comments during an interview on i95.5 FM Friday when he thanked the TTFA for the opportunity to serve. “I want to thank Mr Tim Kee (former president), Mr (Sheldon) Phillip (ex-General Secretary)…for the opportunity to coach the national team. It’s unfortunate that things were not running as smooth as we all would have liked, but the decision has been made,” Hart said.
He also thanked the public for “all their support. I will say to them, if you pay your money and you go in the stadium, support the players... Make the players feel wanted, all the players, whether you agree with the selection or not.”
Hart also had advice for his successor. “I had a very professional staff, the technical staff, the medical staff, everybody was very professional and I would advise whoever comes in to look deeply into those personnel; my manager was fantastic and to give them an opportunity to continue and to lend their experience that they’ve gathered over three years,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, national Futsal team coach Morris said the focus now turns to the person coming in to replace Hart. “The only thing to help us now is Jesus Christ!,” Morris said, before explaining, “I say that because I believe any top class coming in now will only expose the flaws of the poor administration of the TTFA and football locally. The poor administration more than anything has to improve, because that is what is contributing to the results which the team is experiencing at the moment.”
Morris added that salvaging the current Russia 2018 World Cup campaign will also be a huge task, but added, “I (am) always optimistic as a coach that once there is time on the clock, you still have a chance to win.”
Morris said, though, the challenge is that while the TTFA struggles to settle the coaching issue and while the team is going through a process of adapting to the new coach and his style, the other top teams are proceeding with their World Cup campaign in a more structured and settled manner.
“We are not like Brazil and countries like that who already have a system that is developed from all their youth teams. Now our players are going to probably be meeting up with a new coach with a different philosophy (from Hart) which will require a period of adaptation. The players will probably be a bit confused for a while and time is running out to our next World Cup qualifying matches (March 24 & 26),” Morris said. “I maintain that the results on the field are a reflection of the administration off it,” Morris concluded.