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Sun, Dec

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Too de­fen­sive is what for­mer na­tion­al foot­ball coach Ron La For­est be­lieves, could ham­per the na­tion­al foot­ball team at the Con­ca­caf Gold Cup in the Unit­ed States and Ja­maica lat­er this month.

Coach Den­nis Lawrence's men held 26th-ranked Japan to a goal­less draw at the Toy­ota Sta­di­um in Aichi on Wednes­day, but they ex­pect­ed­ly had to en­dure loads of re­lent­less at­tack­ing pres­sure which pegged them back in their de­fen­sive third for most of the match.

How­ev­er, La For­est, con­sid­ered one of the coun­try's bet­ter-at­tack­ing play­ers in his hey­days, be­lieves Lawrence should cap­i­talise on the at­tack­ing op­tions avail­able to him in a struc­tured way.

"I com­mend Lawrence and the So­ca War­riors for pulling off such a drawn re­sult against the high-ranked Japan­ese, and I think it will do a whole lot of good for the team at the Gold Cup. How­ev­er, the coach needs to find a way to use play­ers such as Jo­evin Jones, Levi Gar­cia, Nathan Lewis and Kevin Moli­no with their at­tack­ing abil­i­ties, be­cause this is where the strength in T&T foot­ball lies," La For­est said.

Ac­cord­ing to La For­est, "I do not know what the coach's strat­e­gy was on the day but we were be­ing pressed in the back for long pe­ri­ods of time, and as a re­sult, we hard­ly got the op­por­tu­ni­ty to show what we can do of­fen­sive­ly."

The So­ca War­riors are set to open their cam­paign against an im­prov­ing Pana­ma team on June 18, be­fore tak­ing on the host na­tion the Unit­ed States, two days lat­er. Their fi­nal match will be against re­gion­al neigh­bour Guyana.

The So­ca War­riors need to be among the top two teams to progress from the group phase and foot­ball pun­dits are al­ready pre­dict­ing max­i­mum points against the Guyanese, but they feel the War­riors need to get a favourable re­sult against the Pana­ma­ni­ans or the US to ad­vance.

La For­est be­lieves Lawrence should use the T&T team to its strength, which is in their at­tack, say­ing we need to fight fire with fire.

Be­fore the Gold Cup tour­na­ment, the T&T War­riors will face Cana­da in an­oth­er in­ter­na­tion­al friend­ly en­counter on June 10, be­fore leav­ing for the Gold Cup the day af­ter.


SOURCE: T&T Guardian