Leston Paul (pictured) was called up for Trinidad & Tobago's international friendly against Barbados, which will be played on March 10, 2017. (Photo: CA-Images)
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad & Tobago – The Dennis Lawrence era with Trinidad & Tobago will officially open on Friday, when it hosts Barbados in an international friendly at Ato Boldon Stadium.
The 42-year-old was handed the managerial reins on January 22, replacing Tom Saintfiet, who resigned after slightly more than a month on the job.
With a pair of home World Cup qualifiers against Panama (March 24) and Mexico (March 28) approaching, Lawrence is looking at the match as key to his preparations.
“It will be exciting for the players as they get the chance to show us that they are worthy of selection for the two World Cup qualifiers,” said the former T&T star. “From a commitment point, they have given enough focus and attention to the work that we have tried to do. Now it’s just about execution and it’s for the players to go out and concentrate on the work that we’ve done also go out there and deliver.”
The Trinidadians lost both of their opening two games in the final round of CONCACAF qualifying for Russia 2018, falling to Costa Rica (0-2, home) and Honduras (1-3, away). They currently sit fifth in the six-team, only topping the United States on goal difference (-4 to -5).
Midfielder Leston Paul has enjoyed working under Lawrence and is looking forward to the competitive challenges of the next few weeks.
“Things have been fantastic for the past couple of weeks,” the Central FC star said. “The sessions have been well planned and great all round. It has been just enough to get us ready for international football.
“I think every game is important. We know how important these two [qualifiers] are with regards to our qualifying chances and the players realize that and they all would like to be part of the effort. It’s a new group of guys so everyone is ready to go to show themselves for selection.”