Captain Dwight Yorke will lead his troops in their final training session and only one at Wednesday’s match venue – the Estadio Cuscatlan on Tuesday morning from 8:30am ( 10:30am TT time). The 2010 World Cup Qualifying match kicks off at 9pm T&T time on Wednesday head coach Francisco Maturana has opted to use the venue earlier on the eve of the encounter.
View Carlos Edwards interview
He put the squad through its paces in a full 90 minute session on Monday evening as the full squad assembled with Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards, Walsall goalkeeper Clayton Ince, Crewe Alexandra’s Dennis Lawrence, Brighton’s Chris Birchall, Wrexham’s Silvio Spann and Bristol City’s Stern John all arrived in San Salvador on Sunday night following their slate of matches in England.
Skipper Yorke was in good spirits with the rest of the bunch saying “It’s great to be together again as a unit. Obviously we’re here for an important qualifying match because we realise that a good result here away from home could be just the right start in this final round for us. We don’t expect El Salvador to make it easy for us by any means but we’ve got a job to do.”
There were no major injury problems with the exception of Carlos Edwards carrying a tight hamstring but he is expected to be fully ready for Wednesday’s clash. Anthony Wolfe is also coming along well from an ankle blow which forced him to leave the field before half time in T&T’s closing training match against Los Andes in Buenos Aires.
Edwards who has regained some proper playing time in the Sunderland first team since the departure of Roy Keane, says his match fitness is at a good level following a 120 minute run in a FA Cup fixture with Blackburn Rovers last week.
“I’m feeling good at the moment except for the tight hamstring but it’s not a major bother. Being here is the most important thing. We went to Guatemala and came through well against a team that was more fancied to get a win at home and we held them off in front of a hostile environment. So in saying that I think once we get our act together again and play the football then the result should be something pleasing to us.
“It’s never easy in these kind of countries but right now I feel our chances are good. We have players who are the top of their games like Kenwyne Jones. Jason Scotland is also in ripping form and I’m disappointed that he’s not here but I feel we have good enough players to get the job done,” Edwards told TTFF Media.
The former Luton Town star also dispelled talks that Yorke could be a bit rusty due to a lack of playing time at Sunderland because of his new role as assistant coach.
“We all know Dwight to be super fit. I’ve played with him for a while now at Sunderland and even though he’s not been playing he is the kind of individual who will keep his fitness level at a very good rate to allow him to play football at the international stage. That’s not a concern. He’s the leader of the team and he will lead by example,” Edwards added.
Brighton midfielder Birchall is fancying T&T’s chances of a good start to the final round which includes the hosts for Wednesday’s game as well as Honduras, Mexico, USA and Costa Rica. While the spotlight will be on the Mexico/USA clash, the result of the Costa Rica versus Honduras encounter will also have much interest in the T&T camp.
“People might think that we are facing the weakest team in the group but at the end of the match it’s the result that counts. Whether they are favourites or not should not be our concern. I’ve been out here in these kind of environments with the Trinidad and Tobago team before and it’s never easy. We have got to take the game to them and try to stamp our authority from the get go.
“Now my level of fitness is maybe at it’s best since the campaign has started. I’ve started the last five games for Brighton and I’m playing for a manager who understands my style and he favours it so hopefully I can bring that kind of impact over to the Trinidad team and help get us the best start possible to this round,” Birchall said.
T&T will wear its traditional red kit in Wednesday’s affair. (Feb 9,2009)