Trinidad and Tobago’s Joevin Jones will have a key part to play in the national team’s effort to secure full points in Friday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Final Round Qualifier against Honduras at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva.
And Jones, bound for Germany in January, is ready to shoulder the responsibility, adding that he sees the importance of delivering the goods and meeting the expectations.
The Seattle Sounders left back took part in yesterday morning’s training session at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Couva and immediately began to take aim at the Hondurans.
“It’s a massively important game for us. I think everybody is clear about that,” Jones said.
“The last time we played them it was not a pretty experience for us. We conceded early and we couldn’t get ourselves back into the match and this time we need to make them know how that experience feels. We are at home and I think we can get it together and pull off a performance that will bring us three points,” he continued.
“I think I owe the country in the hex now. In the past few games, I had what I would say not awful but bad performances .This is like a final to us. We need three points to stay alive. I had a good week of preparation between ball work and fitness. I am looking forward to the game and very excited about it,” Jones added.
He mentioned that there has been constant dialogue between himself and fellow midfielder Kevin Molino about the forthcoming fixtures.
“Everyday, myself and Kevin have been talking about these games. And about how making it to a World Cup can change our lives. I think that is in the back of our minds but first we need to take care of business on the pitch and that is the main focus now for Friday and then onto Panama,” Jones said.
“Looking back at the last match with Honduras (in November 2016), it’s not much we want to remember but I wasn’t pleased with the way I performed and now it’s a chance to step up. Hopefully by God’s grace and with the right approach we can get it down right on the day and give the fans something to be happy about and keep our chances alive,” the former W Connection man added.
In related news, Honduras have recalled veteran striker Carlo Costly for Friday’s match. The Olimpia player has returned to the national team after an 18-month absence, coach Jorge Luis Pinto has said.
The 35-year-old quit international football in March 2016 after publicly falling out with Pinto, but the pair have settled their differences, the former Colombia and Costa Rica manager told a media conference on Friday.
“Carlo is playing his best football in years. We hope that he can carry on that form for the national team,” Pinto said. “As the coach, I know what I should do, and he knows what he needs to do on the pitch. We’ve brought him in to the team at an opportune time.”
Honduras are currently fifth in the CONCACAF standings with five points, nine points behind leaders Mexico. TT are rooted at the bottom with three points.
Honduras squad (clubs in brackets)
GOALKEEPERS: Donis Escober (Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana), Ricardo Canales (Vida).
DEFENDERS: Bryan Beckeles (Necaxa), Maynor Figueroa (Dallas), Henry Figueroa and Felix Crisanto (Motagua), Carlos Sanchez (Honduras Progreso), Jhonny Palacios (Olimpia), Ever Alvarado (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Al-Fayha, Arabia), Jhonny Leveron (Marathon).
MIDFIELDERS: Bryan Acosta (Tenerife, Espana), Jorge Claros (Real Espana), Alexander Lopez (Olimpia), Alfredo Mejia (Xanthi, China), Oliver Morazan, (Juticalpa), Esdras Padilla (Juticalpa), Sergio Pena (Real Sociedad), Carlos Discua (Motagua), Boniek García (Houston), Juan Delgado (Honduras Progreso).
FORWARDS: Anthony Lozano (Barcelona B), Rony Martinez (Baoding Yingli Yitong), Alberth Elis (Houston), Romnell Quioto (Houston), Carlo Costly (Olimpia), Ovidio Lanza (Juticalpa), Eddie Hernandez (Motagua).