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|SQUAD NAMED FOR SUNDAY'S WCQ VS BERMUDA|
|Trinidad and Tobago will have the services of Southampton striker Stern John for Sunday’s 2010 World Cup qualifier against Bermuda at the Marvin Lee Stadium.
John, who missed the Jamaica friendly with a hamstring proble, was passed fit and rejoined training at the Larry Gomes Stadium on Wednesday. He is included in the 18-man squad announced by head coach Francisco Maturana.
John will join skipper Aurtis Whitley, Carlos Edwards, Dennis Lawrence, Jason Scotland and Clayton Ince as the players from the previous 2006 World Cup campaign in the squad to kick off this country’s bid for South Africa 2010.
The other faces in the team include midfielders Keon Daniel and Khaleem Hyland as well as striker Darryl Roberts and goalkeeper Jan Michael Williams. Defence Force defender Michael Edwards is the only newcomer for Sunday’s encounter.
Skipper Whitley said that his troops have been getting down to the business of preparing for a bright start to the campaign.
“We’ve worked hard on the training pitch and I think we’ve especially tried to correct some of our weak areas coming out of the England and Jamaica games,” Whitley told TTFF Media. “We felt overall there was lift in the performance in the Jamaica game but we need to put away more chances as in World Cup competition everything counts. Bermuda will be hoping to cause an upset and I’ve been in these situations long enough to know that we cannot take any team or any match for granted.
“Whether we play at the National Stadium or at the Marvin Lee, the team is expected to play its best football and show the same type of approach. No issues at this time will take our focus off the big prize which is securing the points and moving on in the campaign to get to South Africa. We know the public is expecting a lot of us but we hope that they will offer that support to help us along the way,” Whitley added.
Meantime with Bermuda scheduled here at 10:40pm on Thursday, their technical director Derek Broadley will go all out on Sunday.
Broadley said the surface at the MLS could actually be an advantage for Bermuda.
"I think synthetic surfaces suit technical players and it may make it harder for Trinidad to play their power game."
He said Bermuda Hogges players had encountered that type of surface on many occasions in the USL and would not be a problem.
And he insisted there would be no repeat of the problems the Hogges encountered when they faced Charlotte Eagles, with the bulk of the players brining the wrong type of boots for the surface.
"We'll make sure they've got the right boots," he added.
And Barbados coach Eyre Sealy reckons Bermuda have a chance to embarrass T&T in their World Cup qualifier after they (Bermuda) scored comfortable 2-1 and 3-0 wins over the Bajans last week.
”You are the underdogs but on the day anybody can beat anybody other factors come into play. It's not going to be easy for either of us but I still have faith. We certainly wish Bermuda well and all the best,” said Sealy.
He said he felt Bermuda had played 'reasonably well' over the two games against his side but needed to tighten up defensively if they were to survive the critical first leg in Trinidad.
Bermuda head coach Kenny Thompson has warned his young charges to ward against being overawed by the occasion and instead use the partisan support to inspire them to raise their performances.
And he will look towards warhorse Meshach Wade, Smith and Nusum to ensure there is no repeat of the stage fright that gripped Bermuda during the early stages of their last round clash against Cayman Islands in the Caribbean.
"We will let the players know what to expect as we know there will be a very big crowd," said Thompson. "We have enough people who can advise our players on how to handle the situation. Instead of being afraid, they must embrace the situation, even though the crowd is not cheering for them.
"You need to use the energy of the crowd to motivate you. Khano (Smith), John (Nusum) and Timmy (Figureido) were part of the last World Cup campaign and they can help ease their team-mates' worries. (June 12, 2008)
Clayton Ince, Jan Michael Williams, Kern Cupid Kareem Smith, Dennis Lawrence, Ancil Farrier, Michael Edwards, Makan Hislop, Stephan David, Osei Telesford, Hayden Tinto, Carlos Edwards, Keon Daniel, Aurtis Whitley Khaleem Hyland, Stern John, Jason Scotland and Darryl Roberts