Tue, Jun


Austin Jack WarnerFifa vice-president and T&T Football Federation (TTFF) special advisor Jack Warner, has given his full support to national coach Russell Latapy and his assistant, Dwight Yorke. Following the Soca Warriors’ elimination from qualifying for South Africa 2010 on Wednesday night, there were calls for the coaching staff to be fired.

Contacted by phone yesterday, Warner dismissed any idea of replacing the coaching staff, at least not before the team plays its remaining matches away to Costa Rica (October 10) and four days later at home to Mexico.

“Latapy has two more matches to go in this campaign and it will make little sense to make any changes to the technical staff at this moment.

“Following the end of the qualifying matches, we will have discussions with some of the senior players who are still in the plans of the coaching staff and discuss a way forward for the national team,” added Warner.

“There will also be a need for us to evaluate why a team with so much stars at the international level, cannot seem to find the back of the net.” Warner said plans would be put in place to solicit assistance for Latapy and Yorke to go abroad and develop their coaching. Looking ahead to the next World Cup, Warner said, “We have already began to plan for 2014.

“The Under-20 team will be participating in the World Cup in Egypt in two weeks and the senior coaching staff may well have to start looking at some of those players to incorporate them into the senior squad.

“We must now invest in our local coaches like we never did before because the time for quick fix is over. “We have to look towards a long term programme and two weeks after our final match against Mexico, the T&TFF and the technical staff will sit with some of the players and discuss our long term plans,” said Warner.

Since taking over the team from Colombian Francisco Maturana, Latapy has been in charge for five World Cup qualifiers, four of which have ended in defeats, Costa Rica (2-3), Mexico (1-2), Honduras (1-4) and USA.

The lone win came against El Salvador by a 1-0 margin. The Warriors also played a friendly international against St Kitts/Nevis and came away with a narrow 3-2 win.