Trinidad & Tobago players (pictured) work on conditioning during a training session on May 17, 2016. (Photo: TTFA Media)
MARABELLA, Trinidad & Tobago – Ahead of Friday’s departure to South America for the first of three friendlies, Trinidad & Tobago head Stephen Hart praised his squad for its efforts during a week-long training camp.
The Soca Warriors will open against host Peru on Monday, before traveling to face Uruguay (March 27) and China (June 3). Many regulars have club commitments, so new faces will be given a chance to impress as they bid for roster spots when World Cup Qualifying resumes in September.
“The players are accustomed with what we try to do and the way that we play are really guiding the players now coming in,” said Hart. “It’s just a matter of the concentration and the intensity level that we have to get right.
“Their work ethic has been tremendous. Some of the things might be new to them, more so for Nathan (Lewis) than for Weslie (John) because for center-backs, it’s pretty standard. For me, defending and the backline and working with the midfield is a matter of communication and that is going to take some time.”
Lewis, a domestic-based forward, and defender John, who plays for UES in El Salvador, have yet to see WCQ action for a side that tops its fourth-round group. Regardless, Hart is eager to see what they can do against international competition.
“I have watched both Peru and Uruguay,” the 56-year-old commented. We know what to expect from them. They will be playing at home and will be very comfortable. They will be working on certain things. I am guessing that a lot of their work will be on the offensive part of their game but that’s not my concern. My concern will be on how certain individuals fit into what we are trying to do and that we have a good sort of collective performance.”
T&T is unbeaten in 12 of its last 13 games, only falling to Haiti, 1-0, in a qualifying playoff for the Copa America Centenario in January.