Trinidad and Tobago skipper Angus Eve is back in the squad for Wednesdays 2006 semi-final round World Cup qualifier against Mexico at the Hasely Crawford Stadium but is well aware that his place in the starting eleven is not guaranteed.
Also expected back from China on Monday night is utility player Anthony Rougier to link up with the rest of the team which returned home on Sunday night following Saturdays 2-1 victory over St Kitts/Nevis in Basseterre. The rest of the team will be spearheaded by winning goalscorer Stern John, Glasgow Rangers defender Marvin Andrews. Dundee defender Brent Sancho who received five stitches to a cut above the eye against St Kitts, Dundee goalkeeper Kelvin Jack, Wrexhams Dennis Lawrence, Falkirk midfielder Brent Rahim, Peterborough midfielder Andre Boucaud, China-based playmaker Arnold Dwarika, Southampton defender Kenwyne Jones striker Jason Scotland, Cornell Glen and Errol McFarlane with Crewe Alexandras Clayton Ince as the back up goalie. The local-based players in the team are Denzil Theobald, Marlon Rojas, Silvio Spann and Derek King with Stokely Mason making room for Eve.
Eve, who looked on from the stands after being forced to miss out due to suspension, praised his teammates for their gutsy display.
We are in a very healthy position now with full points away from home. We did well to come away with the win because the pitch was horrible in St Kitts and the guys came through it.
Mexico at home is very important because the fans are expecting us to win on Wednesday as well. Were not going to just look for a draw but I think ay result other than a loss will be a fine one for us at this stage.
Its up to the coach now on how he selects the team for Wednesday because he should have a full compliment of players now and whether I step on the pitch from the opening whistle or not is not a major factor. No player is guaranteed a place at this point. That seems to be the problem with the West Indies cricket team and we do not want the same to happen to our team. Right now we have a hardworking group of players with strong character and we just need to keep this going, Eve told TTFF Media after the win in Basseterre.
T&T coach Bertille St Clair did hint that there may be some changes to the T&T team.
We got the desired three points in St Kitts but its a different game against the Mexico and we may need to make some adjustments to suit. Definitely if there are players who were not up to par in the last game, then there is a cause for change there but we will be working on getting things in order for Wednesdays game, St Clair said.
John added We did not play the best of games against St Kitts but the guys deserved credit for showing that fighting spirit and I think thats one of the main qualities of this current team. I think if we can raise our performance a bit and maintain that fighting spirit then we will be able to hold our own against the CONCACAF giants.
Mexico meantime have indicated that they will be coming here for nothing for a victory as their players are keen to go into action having not yet played a match in this round. The world fourth-ranked team were scheduled to arrive on a charter flight on Monday night and will be staying at the Hilton Hotel. Mexican coach Ricardo La Volpe has included prolific scorer Jared Borgetti and Jaime Lorzano who both bagged four goals in their previous tie with Dominica, in form striker Adolfo Bautista, scorer of a hattrick against the Dominicans, Daniel Osorno, midfielders Pavel Pardo of Club America and José de Jesús to face the Soca Warriors.