Mitchell : Time to make it count

Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Men’s team will commence a residential training camp on Monday as they enter the final leg of preparations for Friday’s all-important 2018 World Cup qualifier against Honduras at the Ato Boldon Stadium.

Head Coach Dennis Lawrence will lead a training session on Monday evening at the Ato Boldon Stadium. He is expected to have his full contingent of players including those arriving from overseas by Tuesday.

The Honduran team is expected here on Wednesday and will train once at the match venue while staying at the Hilton Trinidad hotel.

Defender Carlyle Mitchell meantime is among the overseas-based players selected by Lawrence for the fixture and he is anticipating a sold-out venue on Friday.

“It’s not often we get to take such a big game outside of Port of Spain. I think the last time we played in Couva was against Panama couple years ago and then we had the warm up against Barbados. But this match is very big one as it’s a World Cup qualifier with both teams needed points to stay alive,” Mitchell told TTFA Media following his arrival on Saturday. He and fellow India-based player Willis Plaza were both present and took a light part in the session at Hasely Crawford Stadium.

2017.04.24- Head Coach Dennis Lawrence makes a point to his staff and players, during the 1st Men’s Senior National Football Team training session ahead of their Friendly international match against Grenada.Photo: Allan V. Crane/CA-images/TTFA

“I expect to see the stadium rammed to capacity and a sea of red because we need that extra support. When we played in Honduras it was a sea of blue from two hours before kick off and their fans lined the streets hours before the game. It is something that players take note of when we are in the bus heading to the match.This time we are at home and we need to make it count,” Mitchell said.

“I think that with the right approach and putting in the hard work and staying focused this week is what will make the difference on Friday. Honduras are coming to win because they always feel they have an edge over us but we need to show them that as a football country and as a team we are not a walk over,” said the East Bengal player.

“At the moment my form is good. I’m really happy to be back in the mix because I missed the last couple games with injury. I know Dennis (Lawrence) has been focusing heavily on getting the team to a level that will make us competitive but now we need to demonstrate that on the field by taking chances, avoiding soft goals and putting points on the board,” he said.

With Lawrence and his troops looking to pull out all the stops on the pitch, the The TTFA and stadium staff are also on the ball and are currently engaged in daily works at the Ato Boldon Stadium to ensure the playing surface is second to none and that spectator accommodation is in place for Friday’s encounter. Additional stands are being erected at the venue to push the accommodation from 8,500 up to just over 11,000. Game Tickets remain available throughout at NLCB Lotto locations nationwide.