Dennis Lawrence, coach of the Trinidad and Tobago football team, is keen to see the squad build on their 2-1 win against the United States, at the 2018 FIFA World Cup CONCACAF Zone Final Round qualifier, as they look towards the future.
In the post-match media conference at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, Lawrence said, “I’m extremely proud of the boys. From the moment we lost to Panama (last month), the idea is to start to think about going forward. “We need to start building a platform from now,” continued the former TT central defender. “The first mission is to try and dominate the Caribbean. It has to be my first mission, and we’ll grow from there.”
Lawrence admitted that the team was eager to end their recent poor run of form, having lost their previous seven matches (both World Cup qualifiers and friendly internationals).
He said, “We’ve had a rough time. Everybody knows we’ve lost a few games. We took a few punches. (On Tuesday) night we punched back. Unfortunately for the USA, they had to fall victim but that’s not my concern, that’s somebody else’s concern.
“All the complaints about the pitch and everything, it’s football. As long as there is grass, there is a ball (on) the pitch and three fair (officials), I’m okay with that.”
Concerning his expectations for the TT team, Lawrence noted, “I would like everybody to look at (Tuesday) night and just understand that is the beginning of our new era. We must continue in that form. There has to be discipline, structure, organisation and pride for Trinidad and Tobago, because that’s my belief.”
About the experienced players who were used during this campaign, Lawrence pointed out, “You always need experience around the boys. But what I’m looking for is the right experienced player. I’m going to give special praise to Khaleem Hyland because I thought he led as a proper captain. And that is the type of people I want working with me.
“Any of the senior players that want to get on board will have to follow the trend because we’re here to build something.”
He is keen to meet David John-Williams, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA), to map a way forward. “The programme going now is (that) I need to sit down with the president. What I would like to happen is that we have to play an international friendly on every international FIFA date. I’ll like to have more contact time with the players so they could work to get to understand what we’re trying to build on now.”