EARL JEAN, assistant coach of Pro League leaders W Connection, has made it clear that his team’s destiny is in their own hands, as they prepare to face North East Stars in their final 2018 league match tomorrow.
It will be a clash of the top and bottom-placed teams, in the second game of a double-header at the Ato Boldon Stadium, Couva, from 8 pm.
More importantly, Connection – depending on other results – might need a win to secure their sixth Pro League crown, to add to their successes in 2000, 2001, 2005, 2011-12 and 2013-14.
Connection are atop the ten-team standings with 34 points, with Club Sando, Police and Central FC next on 33.
At 6 pm tomorrow, Club Sando will battle Morvant Caledonia United at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, in Mucurapo,while Police and Central FC will square off at Couva.
On paper, Connection have the easiest match-up against the struggling outgoing champs.
Jean said in an interview on Tuesday, “We’ve been working tirelessly. We’ve been very, very focused. It’s (a win) on paper but we also dropped points to them in the league.”
Connection and Stars drew 1-1 in their previous league clash on September 22.
Jean, the deputy to veteran coach Stuart Charles-Fevrier, continued, “We’re in the best position, that’s the position you want to be in, at the top of the league. Everything is in our hands so we’re quite contented about that. We would not take anything for granted.
“We have been making solid preparations for North East Stars because they have nothing to lose. I think our players are ready, they’re eager and excited. A lot of them haven’t won the league so it’s an opportunity for them.”
The former St Lucia and Connection striker insisted they do not want to rely on the results from tomorrow’s other key matches.
“For the last two weeks, we have been telling our players (that) we don’t study the other results. The league is in our hands. It has come down to one point so it’s about (us) taking our chances. We know that the teams are competitive, all the games would be tough, but it doesn’t matter.”
Connection have been ahead of the pack for the majority of the season, losing only once – 1-0 to Caledonia on November 11.
However, that defeat followed a dip in form which saw them draw four matches to blow the title race wide open.
Jean blamed that run on the loss of momentum which was caused by the international breaks.
“I know it took out a lot (from) them because at one time we had a very good run and then we started drawing,” Jean admitted. “What we can say for our players is that they put in a lot of effort and we cannot fault them for that.
“We have been very pleased with the way they’ve been working in the games. Our defence has been solid so it’s just to maintain our intensity.”
Connection have the stingiest defence among the 10 teams, having conceded eight goals in 17 matches.
Another crucial part of Connection’s season is the form of striker Marcus Joseph, who has scored 15 times, two more than Club Sando’s Tyrone Charles.
“Marcus (is having) a very good season,” Jean noted. “What happened to Marcus is that (he) got injured during a break and he suffered from that because he took a while to get back. He’s still getting some discomfort (to his knee).
“I know that he wants to win it and he has been playing, but we could still see that he’s down a bit. I’m confident that Marcus will score some goals. So long as our team play to the game-plan, everything would work out. We have to play for each other and not selfish.”