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|'WARRIORS' GO FOR EVERYTHING IN FINAL ROUND OPENER|
A partisan crowd of 50,000 plus is set to their all to make things harder for Trinidad and Tobago’s National Senior Footballers in Wednesday night’s 2010 World Cup Qualifying encounter with El Salvador at the Estadio Cuscatlan from 7pm (9pm TT Time).
The excitement around the affair picked up pace in San Salvador on Tuesday and though T&T’s training morning session at the Magico Gonzales Stadium was overlooked by a 12-man contingent of soldiers from the El Salvador Defence Force as they ensured that the session was closed from the public but those outside on the streets wasted no opportunity in signaling their messages to captain Dwight Yorke and his troops as the Team bus made its was back to the Radisson Hotel.
Several onlookers on the streets predicted scorelines in favour of the hosts by way of hand signals while others signaled a slit of the throat. The stadium has a capacity of 52,900, the largest in Central America, and word at the El Salvador Federation Office is that they were close to a sell out on Tuesday.
The last time these two teams met at in Washington last August, over 25,000 El Salvador fans crammed the venue and were bitter in defeat, some having to be escorted out of the venue for unruly behaviour and others were seen urinating from the upper deck of the stands towards the direction of the T&T fans. Filled plastic bottles were also hurled at the T&T players with Keon Daniel escaping a hit on the head. On that evening a Cornell Glen double and another goal from Anthony Wolfe gave T&T a 3-1 victory with both teams battling the second half with ten men.
Now in their backyard, Carlos de Los Cobos’ men are expected to receive even more solid backing in what promises to be a hostile environment for the visitors. It’s Carnival time back home in T&T but the “Soca Warriors” will have their own tune to play on foreign soil
Yorke wouldn’t be sidetracked by the home advantage edge for the hosts.
“Ideally we would like to get three points but we know it’s not going to be easy we know the Central Americans fans are very vocal and it’s a hostile environment to come into. But we have enough experience playing in this kind of environment so it’s important that we go out there with a positive thought about what we have done so far in the campaign. We know it’s a vital game in terms of our kick start to the round in terms of trying to qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.
“We know it’s going to take a lot of hard work and determination. We have the ability and the desire to get something from the game and that is what I will be trying to get over to the players and implementing it into the game,” Yorke told TTFF Media on Tuesday after the session
“It’s always exciting for us at this time of year. With this major campaign coming up we had to do a lot of traveling so the Trinidad and Tobago FA has gone into overtime to ensure that we did get here quite quickly. I think everyone is settling well but unfortunately the game is midweek so we didn’t have much time to prepare. But if you look around you can everyone is upbeat. I know the guys in Argentina had been working very hard and the guys overseas have been working throughout the season so it’s not a major problem. There is a buoyant mood in the camp and it’s important that we get off to a good start,” Yorke told TTFF Media after the session on Tuesday.
The Sunderland Assistant Coach/Player says he would have preferred to have a couple under games in England under his belt.
“I would have preferred some more games because you want to play every game. I think I’ve kept myself extremely fit so hopefully my experience and the bit of playing time will take me through it,” Yorke added.
In form Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones says he is under no major pressure and he’s focusing on the task at feet which is to try to spur T&T to three points.
“If I were to take on what everybody else might be thinking or saying about me or about the game then maybe there would be pressure on me. But honestly I’m just putting everything else aside and just focusing on the game and trying to help the team get three points here,” Jones told TTFF Media.
“I think we have a really good chance of going all the way and it starts with us getting a positive result tomorrow maybe not even just a positive result but a winning one. I think it can spur us on for the remaining matches,” he added.
As for head coach Francisco Maturana, he appears quietly confident but not carried away going into the fixture.
“If you look at this team in the campaign so far, you can see that they have demonstrated very strong character to lift their game and get results at every moment when they needed to. And for Wednesday’s match I expect nothing less and the players themselves know this as well. I will say much more of what to expect from us but I can assure you that we will go for the best performance,” the Colombian said.
TTFF Special Advisor Jack Warner flies in with his entourage on Wednesday but the planned charter was cancelled due to an absence of sufficient travelers. A few T&T fans did arrive on Monday evening though to offer their support at the match venue. They were also the only ones allowed to enter the training session on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of their team. Local fans will also be happy that local channel CNMG grabbed the rights on Monday to broadcast Wednesday’s match live from 9pm.
The officials are all Mexicans with Marco Rodriguez in charge of proceedings on Wednesday night. (Feb 11,2009)
Clayton Ince (Walsall), Marvin Phillip (W Connection).