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Kevan: We have not given up! Warriors vow to fight for TTFA and T&T, as Panama await

Combative Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevan George says the Soca Warriors have not given up on their Russia 2018 World Cup dream and will fight for their country and the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) when they tackle Panama on Tuesday night.

The Warriors and Panama kick off from 9pm (TT time) in the CONCACAF Hex clash at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez in Panama City.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevan George (left) passes the ball under pressure from Honduras forward Anthony Lozano during World Cup 2018 qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

Trinidad and Tobago, who are the bottom of the six-team standings, must win their next three matches away to Panama and Mexico and at home to the United States to have any chance of finishing fourth and grabbing a FIFA Play-off berth against the Asian Football Confederation’s fifth-placed nation.

Panama are second from bottom but, if they win tomorrow, they would be propelled to third or fourth depending on the results in other matches.

George, who played for 90 minutes in T&T’s 2-1 World Cup qualifying loss to Honduras in Couva last Friday, insisted the Warriors have not given up despite “the negative reports” about the team.

“We as a team haven’t given up on anything, regardless of all the negative reports,” George told the TTFA Media. “There is still a positive mood in the camp. Obviously after a loss like Friday, people are saying all sorts of things about the squad and the Football Association but this is expected when the results are not going your way.

“What I can say is we remain a team and we want to make the country proud and we know how important it is for us to do something positive to boost the FA and football overall in the country. These are the times when we have to stick together and fight it out.”

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Khaleem Hyland (centre) gets in the face of Mexican referee Fernando Guerro as he prepares to send off Alvin Jones (far right) during World Cup 2018 qualifying action against Honduras at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

National Senior Team head coach Dennis Lawrence echoed George’s sentiments and promised fans that the Warriors will fight until it is mathematically impossible to go to Russia.

“We have no choice but to be positive and to take the right approach to this match, which is to go out and play for three points,” said Lawrence. “Obviously we are not in the best of positions on the table but once we are mathematically in with a chance—which we are at the moment—then we have to give it everything and pull ourselves together to try and get what is required.”

Neither coach nor player commented on the internal issues within the squad including unpaid match fees from the TTFA. The Warriors are due payments from the football body for their last six matches but, according to sources, have only been told to expect their fees for outings against Grenada and the United States—in April and June respectively—in two weeks’ time.

George said the players are focused on the World Cup campaign, though, and vowed to fight for their administrators as well as the fans and football stakeholders.

“We had a very good session on Sunday morning before we left home for Panama,” said George, “and now we will be looking to have a positive final session tonight at the stadium ahead of tomorrow’s game.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago winger Joevin Jones strokes home from the penalty spot during World Cup 2018 qualifying action against Honduras at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

“We know the fans are disappointed and we as a team were also disappointed but as professionals we have had to put this past us and get on with the campaign. We have three games left and we owe it the administrators, the stakeholders and the fans to pull off something here in Panama.

“We owe ourselves a proper performance.”

Trinidad and Tobago and Panama are the most feeble offensive teams in the Hex with four goals apiece from six matches played so far. No Panama player has managed more than a solitary goal at this stage while the Warriors are yet to get an item from any of the four forwards—Kenwyne Jones, Jamille Boatswain, Shahdon Winchester and Willis Plaza—used in the Hex.

However, Panama conceded five goals and managed three clean sheets while Trinidad and Tobago have one clean sheet and leaked 12 goals.

The Warriors beat Panama 1-0 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain on 24 March 2017 in Lawrence’s first competitive fixture as a head coach. Trinidad and Tobago have not won in their seven international matches since then.

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Kevin Molino (right) skips past a tackle from Honduras midfielder Jorge Claros during World Cup 2018 qualifying action at the Ato Boldon Stadium in Couva on 1 September 2017.
(Courtesy Sean Morrison/Wired868)

(Trinidad and Tobago squad)

Goalkeepers: 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK), 1.Marvin Phillip (GK), 22.Adrian Foncette (GK);

Defenders: 2.Aubrey David, 5.Daneil Cyrus, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 12.Carlyle Mitchell, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 15.Curtis Gonzales, 17.Mekeil Williams, 3.Kevon Villaroel;

Midfielders: 19.Kevan George, 13.Hughtun Hector, 8.Khaleem Hyland, 23.Leston Paul;

Attacking midfielders: 7.Cordell Cato, 18.Nathan Lewis, 10.Kevin Molino, 3.Joevin Jones, 11.Tyrone Charles;

Forwards: 20.Jamille Boatswain, 9.Willis Plaza.

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  1. I thought I would’ve never said this ..but this is d worst group of players I have ever seen. .no heart wat so ever ..And the ttfa who come up with dat asshole idea to play in Couva .

  2. Because their Football Federation doesn’t exploit their players like you want somebody to get shot or their house burn down or what eh Them really good yes.

  3. This is what’s killing T&T football team, politics, unpay player and bad comments, example to me how Jamaica football team made it to C.O.N.C.A.C.A.F Finals

  4. TNT Football, old car and red woman is worries..this team can not score and can not defend

  5. I await to see that good team performance tonight

  6. I doh knw wa mathematical chance we waiting on we not going no world cup we can’t beat ah minor league team in ah village sweat self much less mex, USA, and Panama wait for more excuse from players an d coach after d game

  7. One man practicing sportsmanship is far better than 50 preaching it. So you all leff dem….. #GoWarriors

  8. That’s because they still experimenting the coaches are clueless up to now they don’t know who the best 11 is yet

  9. I have not given up on my countrymen, win loose or draw i will back them to the end.

  10. Uh-huh. Whatever. In a perfect world.

  11. Right, right…..where de meme with the fellas with the big stone?

  12. 1 win, 6 losses. and they still have hope?

  13. The Soca Warirors major problem is that we have no prolific strikers. There are too many chances going to waste. What happened to the goal scoring team that played Mexico to 4-4 and 3-3 games just two years ago?

    • Lasana Liburd

      2015 Gold Cup Group Stage
      Thu Jul 9
      T&T x Guatemala. 3-1. in Chicago.
      Goals: Sheldon Bateau 11, Cordell Cato 15, Joevin Jones 25; Carlos Ruiz 61;
      Trinidad and Tobago (4-3-3): 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK), 5.Daneil Cyrus, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 2.Aubrey David, 8.Khaleem Hyland (14.Andre Boucaud 75), 19.Kevan George, 3.Joevin Jones (23.Lester Peltier 79), 11.Ataulla Guerra (10.Willis Plaza 62), 9.Kenwyne Jones, 13.Cordell Cato.

    • Lasana Liburd

      2015 Gold Cup Group Stage
      Wed Jul 15
      T&T x Mexico. 4-4.
      Goals: Paul Aguilar 31, Carlos Vela 50, Andre Gurdado 88, Kenwyne Jones 90+1 OG; Keron Cummings 54, 66, Kenwyne Jones 57, Yohance Marshall 90+4.
      Trinidad and Tobago (4-3-3): 1.Marvin Phillip (GK); 2.Aubrey David, 18.Yohance Marshall, 4.Sheldon Bateau, 17.Mekeil Williams, 8.Khaleem Hyland (15.Dwane James 76), 13.Cordell Cato, 19.Kevan George, 20.Keron Cummings (10.Willis Plaza 89), 3.Joevin Jones, 9.Kenwyne Jones.

    • Lasana Liburd

      Fri Sep 4
      T&T x Mexico at Salt Lake City. 3-3.
      Goals: Jonathan Glenn 7, Keron Cummings 39, Joevin Jones 69 (FK); Carlos Esquivel 41, Daneil Cyrus 56 OG, Hector Herrera 85.
      T&T: 21.Jan-Michael Williams (GK); 23.Daneil Cyrus, 6.Radanfah Abu Bakr (17.Mekeil Williams 64), 18.Yohance Marshall, 2.Aubrey David; 14.Andre Boucaud (5.Kevan George 70), 8.Khaleem Hyland; 13.Cordell Cato (11.Trevin Caesar 58), 20.Keron Cummings, 3.Joevin Jones (16.Neveal Hackshaw 86); 7.Jonathan Glenn (10.Willis Plaza 74).

    • Lasana Liburd

      So most of the players are still there: Lester Peltier lost form and then retired, Jonathan Glenn lost form and was not invited back, Ataullah Guerra, Neveal Hackshaw, Yohance Marshall, Andre Boucaud and Dwane James were overlooked. Mekeil Williams and Radanfah Abu Bakr now on the bench.
      Keron Cummings never got back to his best after being shot…

  14. SSFL going an start soon, lets go Shiva Boys’ Hindu College

  15. What allyuh expect him to say, we done loss already so we just going to show up? He has to be positive.

  16. I can only hope the TTFA is not coercing players to speak on its behalf. Because David John-Williams should probably me making a statement himself.

  17. The kinda sh*t Kevan George and Hyaland played against Honduras makes me feel angry just seeing a post with him.

  18. ..Nine or ten pm? One daily says the latter..

  19. Wonder how positive training sessions translate into good games? Anyhoo, good luck fellahs, try to be “mentally ready” — like Levi wasn’t! — and try to start this game with intensity

  20. Play for T&T forget the TTFA, they can careless about you.

  21. After the loss on Friday people saying all kinds of things about the FA?
    Boy, people talking bout dem almost two years now…

  22. Kinda odd that he mentions boosting de TTFA and fighting for de administrators. Almost sounds like a PR move.

    • Extremely. I have never heard a player talking about fighting for their FA. Did he even mention the country or the flag or the shirt? That’s what u usually fight for. I feel he tell Shaun Fuebtes…boy I have nuttin to say, write whatever u want yes

  23. 90% of that team should stick to playing football … on PlayStation.

  24. Each time I see T&T play the line-up is different