DENNIS LAWRENCE, TT men’s football team coach, is looking at the brighter side, despite his team’s 2-0 defeat to Canada in a closed-door friendly encounter at the Titan Stadium in Cal State Fullerton, California, United States on Monday.
Canada skipper Scott Arfield scored both goals for the Canadians, in the fifth and 90th minutes.
“I was very, very pleased with a lot of the aspects,” said Lawrence. “(I’m) obviously disappointed to concede two goals, one so early in the game and then one late but in terms of a training exercise for the boys I thought it was very good for us.
“It give us the opportunity to try different players, to try different players in different positions because we are still trying to find the right balance,” continued the former TT central defender. “I was a bit pleased especially in the second half with the way we managed the game. We got ourselves in a lot of good attacking situations but again we didn’t manage to convert. All in all it was a very pleasing exercise for us.”
Lawrence was disappointed that he could not use more substitutes during Monday’s fixture.
“I was just a bit disappointed with the way the rules were used,” said Lawrence. “We were only allowed to use six substitutions and we were planning to give everybody a game. We wanted to play some people for 45 minutes but we were not able to do that today but all in all it was a pretty good exercise for the boys.”
Among the players used by Lawrence were experienced midfielders Kevin Molino and Joevin Jones, as well as Canada-born goalkeeper Gregory Ranjitsingh.
“It was important for these boys,” stated the TT coach. “Molino last played on the (June 2) and Joevin has been coming on for his club (Seattle Sounders) since he got there.
“Ranjitsingh has not been playing so we felt it was very important that they got some minutes that we gave them some minutes in this training exercise. They did well. Molino managed to get through 90 minutes which was good for us. Ranjitsingh I thought did well when he came on and Joevin we can still see he needs a little bit more but we have still got some days to try make up the ground.
“The main important thing for us is to recover. One of the sour points today for us which we were very concerned about coming back from Japan was any injuries. Carlyle (Mitchell) picked up something slight and I’m hoping it’s nothing series so it remains about recovery,” Lawrence concluded.
This game was TT’s last before they open their Concacaf Gold Cup campaign against Panama, in the US, on June 18.
TT line-up: Adrian Foncette (Greg Ranjitsingh 45th); Daneil Cyrus (captain), Carlyle Mitchell (Curtis Gonzales 26th), Cordell Cato, Kevin Molino, Joevin Jones (Nathan Lewis 66th), Shahdon Winchester (Levi Garcia 45th), Mekeil Williams (Leston Paul 51st), Akeem Humphrey, Kevan George (Khaleem Hyland 75th), Neveal Hackhaw.