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Hart: Warriors lacked conviction and we let Trinidad and Tobago down

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team coach Stephen Hart said his team lacked conviction and failed to execute their tactical plan yesterday evening in their 1-0 2016 Copa America Centenario play off loss to Haiti in Panama.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart reacts to final whistle in the 2016 Copa America play off contest at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, Panama City.  (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart reacts to the final whistle in the 2016 Copa America play off contest at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, Panama City.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

However, Hart accepted responsibility for the dismal defeat, which means the “Soca Warriors” will not line up alongside the best nations from South America and CONCACAF in June.

“At the end of the day, the responsibility lies with me,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “I am the one responsible for having them mentally, physically and tactically prepared. And 80 percent of what we did in training was the offensive part and trying to get our possession and offence working.

“(Last night) we lacked that sort of conviction. We didn’t penetrate (and) we didn’t move the ball fast enough. And even though we did have some chances, it wasn’t enough to put Haiti under pressure.”

Hart has led the Warriors into 18 competitive matches since his appointment in mid-2013 and they have lost only three matches in regulation time—twice to Haiti and once to Mexico.

Yesterday, he thinks the squad failed to manage the game properly and let the country down as a result.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) tries to find a way past Haiti defenders Stéphane Lambèse (right) and Méchack Jérome during the 2016 Copa America play off contest at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, Panama City.  (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones (centre) tries to find a way past Haiti defenders Stéphane Lambèse (right) and Méchack Jérome during the 2016 Copa America play off contest at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, Panama City.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

“We let down the country,” said Hart. “Some of these players are young and they have to understand that every game, regardless of your opponent, if you don’t do what you are supposed to do, in terms of taking charge of the game and managing the game and taking care of the ball.

“And you let the other team begin to get some confidence, anything can happen. Especially if you don’t score when you get your opportunities…

“And then to lose to a goal of that nature. It is a very very bitter pill to swallow.”

Trinidad and Tobago defender Radanfah Abu Bakr said the players were “desperately disappointed” in their failure to maintain their high standards.

“Everybody is desperately disappointed with the result,” said Abu Bakr. “We let ourselves down. We didn’t hold the high standards we set for ourselves.

“We have to look inside ourselves to really get the answers for that.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Radanfah Abu Bakr (centre) walks away while Haiti players celebrated their 1-0 in the 2016 Copa America play off contest at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, Panama City. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Radanfah Abu Bakr (centre) walks away while Haiti players celebrated their 1-0 in the 2016 Copa America play off contest at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, Panama City. (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

Midfielder Andre Boucaud was hurt to lose by a team that, on paper, was not superior to the Warriors. However, he said the squad now has no choice but to turn their attention to March’s 2018 World Cup qualifiers against St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“I don’t think (Haiti) were the greatest but we were poor,” said Boucaud. “You can’t turn back time. That’s done and it’s not going to come back.

“It is very painful but we have to look forward to March now and the two St Vincent (World Cup qualifying) games.”

Hart lamented their failure to qualify for the Copa America by securing better results at the 2014 Caribbean Cup or the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup before finally crashing out in the 2016 play off.

But he hopes they are wiser for it now.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Shahdon Winchester (right) tries to escape from Haiti defender Jean Marc Alexandre during the 2016 Copa America play off contest at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, Panama City.  (Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago attacker Shahdon Winchester (right) tries to escape from Haiti defender Jean Marc Alexandre during the 2016 Copa America play off contest at the Rommel Fernandez Stadium, Panama City.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

“No team dominates for 90 minutes and in your period of domination you have to take your chances,” said Hart, “because you know the other team is going to get one or two chances.

“This is the sixth time we have had an opportunity to qualify for this (Copa America) tournament. But we have not. That is the reality of it.

“And now it is a matter of clean sheet and fighting in March for six points.”

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41 comments

  1. The only time these players demonstrate conviction is when they want more money.

    BTW, I agree that they should be compensated, but show something for it nah!
    It happens all over T&T; unions demand higher wages and back pay, they receive it and it’s same ole, same ole. Wage increases, production doesn’t.

  2. Think Hart summed it up well. I missed the first half and except maybe for the first ten minutes of the second half we were looking like a five a side sweat with the boys. It was really poor and I expected better based on the gold cup to the USA performance. Lost opportunity to keep playing at a high std. Boucad said it water under the bridge can’t fix that now. Except to get wins in our next qualifiers. Beat of luck boys. BTW was glad to see S. Winchester finally. Did add a bit of spark in his first 10mins, Glen was disappointing.

  3. So sorry for T&T losing the game. The guys would just have to train harder and get serious. I figured this would happen since not having Kenwin Jones and the other two injured guys this might have been the outcome

  4. Poor very poor and no excuses Stuepssss

  5. we played like Liverpool..only raise our game against the bigger sides lol

  6. As a person who believe in the power of thought and word as they did in the Caribbean Cup final 2014 yesterday the Warriors downed tools mentally and spiritually!! I always remember the Jamacian captain victory comments at the time wait for the day TT players understand their true role and resiponsiblity to their
    country and themselves!!!

  7. This team seems to play to the level of their opponent. The worse the opponent, the poorer we look.

  8. I feel depressed that i missed the match too, had a late event to attend. But i do wish the best 4 future and a prosperous 2016 4 our sport national teams?⚽?⛳⚾??

  9. Once Haiti put the Rasta and the number 11, Millien, on the field, they were better.

  10. I expected Haiti to be a much stronger opponent and we dropped to their level. Slow paced and making simple mistakes. Without a couple of our original starters no one took the opportunity to seal thier spot on the starting team like Cummings did when he got his chance.

  11. Lasana I expect better from our players always. We are better than what we’ve shown on many occasions. I actually enjoyed what I’ve seen since Hart has taken over and last evening gave me flashbacks.

  12. What I’m saying Brian is that Brazil’s population is the size of Europe and they were rubbish without their number 10. So cut Trinidad some slack on that one.

  13. Hahahahaha so now we are rating T&T players with the likes of Neymar………

  14. Without Molino, Hector, Cummings and Guerra not fully himself… Remember what Brazil looked like without Neymar? Lol.

  15. That will help for sure. But that alone won’t make the team’s ball movement better.

  16. So without Molino there is no one else to step up and say here I’m? Wow we are in a sad state then.

  17. Well let’s hope Molino can come back close to full throttle

  18. Yeah. They didn’t look like that they put it all on the line or that they played for Keron Cummings.

  19. Most disappointing match I’ve seen from the Hart administration. It’s like they didn’t even want to qualify for the tournament.

  20. That’s true. We continue to miss a real number 10. But still the ball movement in the opposing half is disappointing.

  21. We are all bemoaning the lack of intensity and so on but how much cutting thrust can we really expect with a midfield trio of Boucaud, Hyland and George, who are not very dissimilar. The onus was ultimately on Joevin or Peltier to do something very extraordinary. An eye-opener to say the least.

  22. Well why I said back to square one was that this performance reminded me of how we downed tools in many important games. I try to understand the thinking as to what do they want out of playing international matches and their future in a professional sport. If I were in that position my thoughts cud’ve been not only for fans or country but self. I wud’ve also be thinking about the quality teams and players to face as on most occasions it’s only on TV I can see them in action. Ask Guerra 🙂

  23. Lol. I missed the whole match. 🙁
    Got home in time to see Haiti huddled and I said ugh and rolled my eyes thinking we were going to another penalty shootout. But then the commentator said something about the winner of Panama/Cuba will join Haiti in the Copa America. So then I rolled my eyes for real and said more than ugh!

  24. And I do want to see this improved offence and play on the ball that I keep hearing about eventually eh. Lol.

  25. I won’t say back to square one. Maybe some players needed to be brought back down to earth. Haiti thoroughly deserved to go through. We didn’t do enough.

  26. I didn’t understand the lack of intensity. These players shud’ve been playing out of their skin for Cummings, Molino but wat we got little to nothing from them. Back to square one I guess smh……

  27. But we do want to see this improved performance on the ball that we keep hearing about eh. :-/

  28. He is never one to engage in buck passing, which is refreshing.

  29. And this time Haiti didn’t cheat.

  30. His comment on the age of the players makes me think of some of the stuff that Cornell Glen said…
    Still a grown man response/assessment of the loss.

  31. ..A sad commentary. But , objectively, there is a certain historical symmetry in Haiti (the first Caribbean country to qualify for a World Cup and the first Caribbean republic), and Jamaica(the second to qualify for a World Cup) being the Caribbean’s representatives in this tournament..