Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers will have their first feel of the playing surface at the Providence National Stadium on Thursday morning ahead of Friday’s all important 2014 World Cup qualifier against Guyana at 8pm.
Skipper Kenwyne Jones and his nineteen teammates touched down in Georgetown at 8:25 am following their 55-minute flight from Piarco before completing a 60-minute bus journey to the King’s Plaza where the team will be based for the next three days. The hotel, a newly refurbished facility is located downtown Georgetown. Head coach Otto Pfister later put his charges through a mid-evening training session at the nearby Police Grounds.
Slovakia-based striker Lester Peltier, still brimming from his hattrick performance in the previous 4-0 win over Barbados, realizes that Friday’s encounter will prove to be a sterner test for the visiting “Soca Warriors”.
Peltier mesmerized the Guyanese defence in a 1-1 draw in a friendly back in September 2010 as T&T hit the woodwork three times but this time around the “Golden Jaguars” have changed up their ammunition and their attack is being plotted by Trinidadian Jamaal Shabazz.
“It’s different times now and the Guyana team has improved since the last time we played them so we have to be well prepared and ready to face a difficult challenge,” Peltier told TTFF Media.
“But I also believe that we have the drive and the belief to come here and do a job. We need a good result and then go back home and finish things off. Obviously they are at home in the first match and they hold that advantage but we’ve played outside before needing a good result and we have accomplished that. I’d like to see us turn up with one of our better performances and play the football to get a positive finish,” added the AS Trencin player.
Assistant coach Anton Corneal scored a 68th minute goal to lead T&T to a 1-0 victory over Guyana in Georgetown the last time the two countries met here in a World Cup qualifier, which was during the 1990 “Road to Italy” Campaign. He believes that every player must be at 100 percent during the affair.
“We have the potential to come here and get a result but we are also mindful of Guyana’s record and their capabilities. It’s a very big game for them and we need to avoid all forms of complacency," said Corneal.
"But we also need to have every single member of our team give it their all, give one hundred percent and to dig deep when it becomes necessary during the match and that must go from the opening whistle.
“In the past we’ve had teams where a lot of people believed in and people also had little faith in. This team has a chance to prove that they must not be written off. Our anniversary for the 2006 qualification is a few days away (November 16) and we had a team there that was led by a captain (Dwight Yorke) who led his teammates by example, giving everything and enjoying one of his best spells in a national uniform and he got the rest of the team to give everything, especially when some may have expected them to falter. That kind of spirit and drive is what we need again and this match on Friday is the ideal time for us to show exactly the kind of mettle we are made of,” Corneal added. (Nov 9,2011)