Trinidad and Tobago winger Carlos Edwards has vowed that the squad will bring its A-game for tomorrow night’s decisive CONCACAF 2013 Gold Cup fixture against Honduras from 9.30 pm (TT time) at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
A victory for the “Soca Warriors” will mean the team’s first appearance in the knockout round for 13 years. And Edwards told local football fans that the team is ready to go for it.
“We have it in us,” Edwards told the TTFA Media. “Some days you can be down as a team and maybe we were far from good against Haiti and we hold our hands up. But this is the level we all aspire to as players and we have got pull out all the stops now to make up for it.”
The Ipswich Town player, who has 83 full international caps, urged his teammates to switch on and work hard for the result. He hinted that some players were not pulling their weight.
“We can’t go into the game with three or four players,” said Edwards. “We need the entire team to be focused and to bring their A-game for this one. Nothing less will be acceptable on the night…
“That belief was not there in the last game and now we have to be switched on from the first whistle. We need to avoid the silly mistakes and be more forceful in everything we do. I think everyone knows what’s at stake. Hard work is the only remedy tomorrow.”
Right back Justin Hoyte is ruled out from the Honduras fixture after limping off with a groin injury during Friday’s 2-0 loss to Haiti. However, utility player Joevin Jones is expected to be available despite big replaced with an ankle injury against Haiti.
There is the likelihood of change for tomorrow’s game with Kevin Molino pressing for more playing time after a cameo against Haiti while Cornell Glen, Chris Birchall and Andre Boucaud are also said to be in line for their first minutes of the tournament.
Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart said the Warriors intend to take a positive approach and work rate into the match against Haiti.
“The players more than anything else understand that we did not have a good night in Miami on Friday and we are capable of doing much better,” said Hart. “This is the opportunity now for us to do that. Again it’s not going to be easy by any means but at this level you can’t expect any team to give you anything freely.
“Our approach and work rate has to be positive throughout the match.”
Trinidad and Tobago can qualify, even with a one-goal defeat, if Haiti defeats El Salvador by at least three clear goals and Cuba and Belize play to a draw on Tuesday. Realistically, though, the Warriors need three points.
But Hart suggested that the most important thing was an improved performance against Honduras.
“A victory will take us through but more importantly I think we need to lift our level of play and put on a good display against Honduras,” said Hart. “Looking back at the last game, without your heart involved you realize we had some good moments, we created some opportunities but we didn’t score which could always change a game.
“But at the end there’s no excuse, we didn’t get the result and we know what we have to do, which is to go out and do the business against Honduras.”