Lawrence speaks at length on Gold Cup campaign and beyond

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