Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart has defended the attitude of his players, after the Sunday Express newspaper used the headline “Bad Attitude” in reference to his post-game comments after their 3-2 World Cup qualifying win over St Vincent and the Grenadines in Arnos Vale last Friday.
“I think the words I said is that we approached the game with the wrong attitude which is very different,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “These players have a fantastic attitude. They work well (and) they have good camaraderie but sometimes we switch off mentally and that’s what I meant.
“You have to go into the game in the same way as if you were playing the US or Mexico. You have to approach games in a very professional manner.”
At present, the “Soca Warriors” are top of Group C with seven points after three matches while Guatemala and the United States have six and four points respectively. St Vincent and the Grenadines are bottom of the group with zero points.
Only the top two nations will progress to the final CONCACAF qualifying round for the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Trinidad and Tobago host the “Vincey Heat” from 7 pm on Tuesday March 29 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain—gates open at 4 pm—and Hart is anxious that his team not only pockets the three points at stake but also give a better showing.
“There is a strong purpose heading into it which is to not just play well but to ensure we gather the three points,” said Hart. “We do not intend to get into a false sense of believing anything is achieved before we actually take care of business.
“The spirit is fantastic (in the squad and) there is good competition among the players. And then there is a bit of banter and some jokes flying around.
“But when it’s time to be serious they have trained very well.”
Hart says the Warriors are injury-free. But he has not ruled out making a few changes to his line-up tomorrow.
Teenaged winger Levi Garcia came off the bench to score twice in Arnos Vale while fellow substitute and 20-year-old midfielder Neveal Hackshaw set up the game winner. Hart also admitted to Wired868, in a previous interview, that his deployment of full back Justin Hoyte in the right wing position did not go as planned.
There are likely to be some adjustments in Port of Spain.
“I think we might have to make a few adjustments just to keep us fresh but the nucleus of the squad will remain,” said Hart. “I watched the game twice and really when I watched it back a second time, we didn’t do as badly as I thought.
“We just didn’t take our chances and sometimes we were a little bit disorganised in terms of defending the ball.”
The Trinidad and Tobago coach, who took over the helm in mid-2013, hopes there will be a large turnout at the Hasely Crawford Stadium to cheer the boys on.
“It would be nice to se a good crowd,” said Hart, “and it’s important that we have that push for the next three games.”