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Thanks T&T! Jones and Hart express gratitude for the Soca Warriors

Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team head coach Stephen Hart and captain Kenwyne Jones have expressed their appreciation for the support shown by “Soca Warriors” fans during their 6-0 Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying win against St Vincent and the Grenadines on Tuesday March 29.

Photo: Football fans (from left) Peter Cumberbatch, Alana Lewis and Eugene Todd answer the call to get behind the "Soca Warriors" against the United States on 17 November 2015. (Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)
Photo: Football fans (from left) Peter Cumberbatch, Alana Lewis and Eugene Todd answer the call to get behind the “Soca Warriors” against the United States on 17 November 2015.
(Courtesy Chevaughn Christopher/Wired868)

The handsome triumph at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain put the Warriors within one point of CONCACAF’s final qualifying round or hex.

There was no post-game message or spreadsheet from TTFA president David John-Williams just yet. But the Warriors captain and coach took the opportunity to say “thank you” to the roughly 14,000 supporters who turned out to cheer on the national team on Tuesday.

Hart hopes to see them again soon.

“We definitely are grateful for the support shown by all the fans who showed up in their numbers to express their love and support for the team,” Hart told the TTFA Media. “And we want this to continue. This is just our second game at home. We have another big one in September and hopefully beyond that, there will be more games for you to back the team.

“Even when we are not playing but rather preparing for our challenges we will appreciate the support of our fans.”

Jones said the players were touched and motivated by the love from the stands.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau (centre) is congratulated by teammates after grabbing the opening goal in a 6-0 win over St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016. (Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago defender Sheldon Bateau (centre) is congratulated by teammates after grabbing the opening goal in a 6-0 win over St Vincent and the Grenadines at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
(Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

“It was a good feeling for all of the players to see the fans show up regardless of whether it was Mexico, USA or St Vincent,” said Jones. “At the end of the day, we need the support throughout and it is always good to feel that your people are one hundred percent behind you…

“We have one game at home and one game away and when the time comes we are going to focus on that.

“It is important that we do that because we have not been to the hex in a while and with the potential of the group, I can see us possibly qualifying for the World Cup.”

Jones, who scored one and set up another against the “Vincy Heat”, said the players were thrilled to give their fans a goal-fest and suggested that the superior playing surface in Port of Spain made the difference, after their stodgy 3-2 win at Arnos Vale in St Vincent.

“After the first game in St Vincent, we had to check ourselves,” said Jones. “We maybe had some excuses for not putting in the performance in St Vincent that we needed. But then coming back at home on a better surface in front of the home crowd and obviously getting back to the basics that we are accustomed to, the performance would be better.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) leaves St Vincent and the Grenadines defender Shawn Benjamin for dead during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016. Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0. (Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Levi Garcia (right) leaves St Vincent and the Grenadines defender Shawn Benjamin for dead during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0.
(Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

“Even in St Vincent, the type of football we played in the first half could have yielded us the amount of goals we had (on Tuesday).

“(In Port of Spain) we were patient and very precise in some of our passing and we pulled off the goals. We came out and gave the fans what they wanted.

“They would not have seen a goal-fest like that for a long time. Some of the football we played was absolutely beautiful.”

The Warriors’ next confirmed home match is on September 2 in World Cup qualifying action against Guatemala. Jones and company will play their final semi-final group fixture against the United States on September 6 at Everbank field, Jacksonville, Florida.

Trinidad and Tobago also have an international friendly scheduled for May 27 away to Uruguay.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones controls the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016. Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0. (Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)
Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones controls the ball during Russia 2018 World Cup qualifying action at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain on 29 March 2016.
Trinidad and Tobago won 6-0.
(Courtesy: Allan V Crane/CA-images/Wired868)

In other TTFA news, the National Futsal Team face Honduras in a CONCACAF playoff in May while the Men’s National Under-20 Team and Women’s youth teams have upcoming competitions.

Jones said the senior Warriors will try to lead by example.

“Like I said in previous interviews, we have our goal in mind and we are going to keep our feet on the ground,” said the Warriors captain, “and continue to work hard and try to achieve the goals that we set out for ourselves.”

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