FORMER Trinidad and Tobago football coach Bertille St Clair has urged the Soca Warriors to fight to the end against Nicaragua on Monday in their must-win Concacaf Nations League match at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet.
St Clair, a Tobagonian, was a guest of head coach Angus Eve on Sunday at a training session ahead of their top-of-the-table League B clash.
Eve's men face Nicaragua at 8pm, needing victory to leapfrog the group leaders and qualify automatically for the 2023 Concacaf Golf Cup. A win will also see TT promoted to League A and a shot at qualifying for the 2024 Copa America.
St Clair, 88, is revered as the first TT coach under whom a national team qualified for a FIFA World Cup – the 1991 Youth World Cup in Portugal. He was also the head coach at the start of the 2006 World Cup campaign, before he was replaced by Dutchman Leo Beenhakker.
St Clair reminded the national footballers, "Nothing good comes easy – a quitter never wins."
He urged TT players to be pesky defensively against Nicaragua.
"If you marking that man, if he go by the toilet, wait by the door. Yuh must be like a fly – frustrate."
He also spoke of the three As in football. "Ability – we have loads of that in TT; who get the ball first could play – aggression; attitude – if yuh don't have discipline you can't beat anybody."
He said players must eat, breathe and sleep football to fulfil their potential.
Quoting Longfellow, he said, "The heights by great men reached and kept/Were not attained by sudden flight,/But they, while their companions slept,/Were toiling upward in the night," as he urged them to not limit their football development to training sessions with their coaches.
"Tomorrow I here, eh...We winning this game," he said.