Men’s Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence addressed the media in a one-hour long Press Call in Couva as he spoke about the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup campaign and the upcoming Nations League.
Lawrence admitted that certain things could have been done differently to produce better results but said generally, he stood by the decisions he made during the tournament with regards to team selection, among other decisions he made. He said, however, that he feels like he has lost a battle and not the war.
“Our problem has been us in possession of the ball and then just giving it away. For us to compete in football, we must manage the game better.”
Lawrence, a former national defender, said he called the press conference because he wanted to give the media the opportunity to address its concerns to him and not anyone else.
“Football is a very unpredictable game. If we had managed to put in the performances we did against Thailand, Iran, Japan, Wales, then probably we would have gone further, but football is not like that when you go into a tournament. When you go into a tournament, you have to look at it in two ways, do you want to go and survive, or do you want to compete and win the tournament.”
He added, “When we went into the tournament, we understood that one of the biggest challenges we had was that we were not scoring goals and we weren’t creating enough chances. So by having the opportunity to introduce players like Kevin Molino back into the fold, it gave us a different dimension. It allowed us more to be on the creative side.”
Lawrence said ideally he would have liked to have a core group of local players to make up his team, but that broke down with the issue of finance which the Pro League has been suffering with for the longest while.
In drawing reference to this, he said: “I was still in Trinidad in the year of 1999 when the Pro League came into existence. Our core base for the national team was a lot of local players like Angus Eve, Lyndon Andrews, Stokely Mason, Shurland David and myself. And during that period, we managed to do some good things. At one point we were ranked 25th on the FIFA rankings and we won Caribbean Cups at that time, so we saw the benefits of the Pro League.”
See the Press Conference in full below in both clips