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Friday 24 November 2017
Football

Yorke calls for soul-searching within TT football

FORMER TRINIDAD and Tobago captain Dwight Yorke has offered complimentary words to Dennis Lawrence and the members of the national football team for Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over the United States. But he has made his feelings clear that there is a still a lot more work to be done to take the team forward into future campaigns starting with Qatar 2022.

The captain of the 2006 World Cup team was speaking after TT’s win at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva, which left them at the bottom of the six-team CONCACAF qualifying table.

“I think it’s a good morale boosting victory for Dennis (Lawrence) and the entire squad and good to see the miserable losing streak has finally ended. We felt a lot of pain as players and as a nation in 1989 (referring to the Strike Squad’s 1-0 loss to the US) and they (USA) will have a similar feeling now. However, that’s all there should be to it. There’s nothing more to celebrate really because we have the brunt of the work to do from here. We’ve got to strip ourselves down as a footballing nation and see where we go from here if we really want to get anywhere as footballing nation.

“At the end of the day we finished bottom of the table and it’s not something I am proud to speak about or like to hear people say to me,” Yorke said.

“I read somewhere where we have gone two years with 19 losses in 29 matches, more than any other country in that period and that is a record that must be addressed as we go ahead.

“To celebrate the demise of the United States is not something we should be focusing on because that’s now things are done out there. What we should really be doing is just quietly accepting that we got a victory and looking to see where we go from here,” added the former Manchester United striker who is now based in Dubai as a coach and is a member of FIFA’s Football Development committee.

“I heard there were about 3,000 persons at the game (on Tuesday) and when you compare that to the fact that there were 35,000 and more to see the game in 1989 and another 10,000 who couldn’t get in, then that tells you the state of our game at the moment and we’ve got to work on that. There’s no sense ranting about anything if the country at large is not supporting the football.

“And to me, just blowing up because we knocked the United States out of the World Cup is not enough. They have suffered a tremendous loss in billions of dollars by not going to Russia and I can tell you, they will do whatever it takes to get themselves up again. We must do the same because we have a lot more fixing to than them and it has to start sooner than later,” Yorke ended.

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