Bateau eyes crucial qualifier for T&T

The Trinidad and Tobago camp in Westminster, Colorado welcomed two more of its European-based players on Friday with defenders Aubrey David and Radanfah Abu Bakr joining the provisional squad ahead of preparations for Thursday’s 2018 World Cup Qualifier against the United States at Dick’s Sporting Good Park.

T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence is expected to name his final roster the qualifier on Sunday after assessing the current group and will begin his final leg of preparations on Monday.

The T&T team trained at the Colorado Rapids Training Field, near to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Friday and Saturday.

Bateau on the preparations 

“My first session felt well. So far the two or three days have been good and it is always a pleasure to be back wit the team and just looking forward to working and getting ready for the two games,” Bateau told TTFA Media.

“I’ve been eager to be back after missing the last two games. The team won the Panama game so it was normal that most coaches would not want to change a winning team so I had to respect that for the Mexico game. But now we are here in Denver and there is a next chapter to prepare for.”

Looking ahead to Thursday’s clash, the former San Juan Jabloteh player added: “We have definitely grown as a team over the past few games as a group but most importantly it’s going to be about discipline for us. The US team waits for you to drop asleep and then pounce on you and when you are fighting to get back they can punish you. We need to have the confidence to play football the way we can play it. We can possess the ball, we can score goals, we are physically strong snd we have fast players, so it’s about us going out there and demonstrating that,” Bateau added.

T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence observes his team’s training at Prentup Field/TTFA Media

The former Belgian-based player also spoke about the impact Lawrence and his staff are having on the squad as the preparations continue to the upcoming matches against the US and Costa Rica.

“Being past players, players that most of us looked at on the field. they were in these positions similar to us when they played. When we train there is always that sense of they know what they are doing. We respect them and they respect us. Overall there is a very good understanding between us and the coaches. They are not old also, so they understand how we feel and it is easier  for us to communicate. Most times you would see Stern working with the strikers, Dennis with the defenders and the midfielders,teaching us what they know and sharing their experiences… We have Stuarty (Charles-Ferrier) to show us how to possess the ball.

“It is something totally different to what we had in past. Now we have personnel for the different areas. It is a really nice mixture but it then comes down to us, the players to show it and get the job done,” Bateau concluded.

Photo shows Sheldon Bateau looking to move in on Shahdon Winchester during training on Friday – TTFA Media