Trinidad and Tobago head coach Dennis Lawrence has indicated that preparations for the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifier at home to Honduras will resume on August 14th as he seeks to secure a second victory at home during the final round of Concacaf qualification to put this country’s qualifying hopes back on track.
Lawrence was speaking on Thursday morning as he also reflected on T&T’s performance the previous night in a 3-1 defeat to Ecuador in Guayaquil. The game was T&T’s first outing since the 2-1 defeat to Costa Rica in San Jose in World Cup qualifying action in June.
“I was pleased in the first half. I thought we competed and we tried to do the right things. We had some moments where we made some critical errors at critical points in the game. But these types of games are what the boys need in preparation for the Honduras game,” Lawrence told TTFA Media.
“We had players coming back from injury with Carlyle Mitchell, who had’t played for a long time, six months since his last game. So we had to use this opportunity to get ready for the Honduras game.”
The former Everton coach said he was particularly pleased with T&T’s first half showing but didn’t think the same about the second 45 minutes.
“First half I was generally pleased with the effort and the way we applied ourselves. I think second half we were just totally outplayed if I were to be honest. We gave away the ball very, very easily. Ecuador dominated the second half. We had a bit of resilience at times but then the third goal was a bit disappointing as we couldn’t manage to see out the game and if we lost 2-1 it looks a lot better than 3-1. In general it was good exercise for the boys but a disappointing result,” Lawrence added.
He spoke about the playing time handed to players such as Kevon Villaroel, Keron Clarke, Tyrone Charles, Jared London and Nathaniel Garcia who have not previously been regulars in the squad.
“When you get the opportunity to give people the chance to compete for places in your World Cup squad you need to use it. It was an experience for the debutants. I think it is another level to what they are used to but I thought they gave their best effort and hopefully it will give them an idea of what they need to try and get their levels up to. The preparation is for Honduras and looking back at the game we learnt a lot about a lot of players, whether or not they are ready to push and vie for a spot in the team to play Honduras,” Lawrence said.
T&T needs to secure three points when they clash with Honduras at the Ato Boldon Stadium on September 1st before traveling to face Panama four days later and Lawrence intends to have the best team ready for the two encounters.
“The idea now is that we will try to start on August 14th. We have between now and then where the players will go back to their clubs and continue to play and they will be assessed. We will come together on the 14th and make sure we put together the best squad for the game against Honduras on September 1st,” he said.