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Defeated semi-finalist head coach Michael McComie of Ma Pau SC has criticized his players’ poor performance which led to the team’s 1-0 defeat against defending champions Defence Force on Friday night at the Marvin Lee Stadium.

Ma Pau conceded the lone item of the match in the 34th minute from a corner headed in by Defence Force’s Aklie Edwards.

“It’s disappointing because of the fact that one goal defeated us,” McComie said over his team’s semi-final exit.

“We have been working on set pieces both for and against us but our players went asleep in that situation.

“Besides the set piece I don’t think Army really threatened us. They came out on the night and did nothing that we thought they would have done.

“But hats off to Army for winning,” he continued. “As I’ve said before, the team that wanted it the most will win and unfortunately Army wanted it more. We didn’t even reach up to average. Any team that played us that night would have defeated Ma Pau because of the attitude of the players.”

Ma Pau SC captain Curtis Gonzales reiterated McComie’s remarks admitting that his team didn’t give its best.

He told www.ttproleague.com, “The feeling isn’t really good right now because we prepared really hard for the game against Defence Force.

“We aren’t guaranteed to win every game,” he added. “But we were supposed to go out and play hard and we didn’t do that. And in the end we suffered a defeat.”

Ma Pau reached last weekend’s semi-final round after being awarded a win over San Juan Jabloteh [who violated competition rules regarding away kits] in the quarterfinal round.

The disgruntled McComie promised changes in his team as he looks to “tighten the screws” at the club.

“We invested in a camp and a lot of money was spent to prepare the guys for this competition in particular and they are fully aware of that,” he said. “But we have reached a stage where we are not getting the effort in return from the players.

“I’m disappointed in the attitude in my players and we need to tighten the screws at the club.”

McComie believes that the situation experienced by his club it’s a saddening trend in Trinidad and Tobago football.

“There is a trend in Trinidad (and Tobago) where players take the sport for granted,” explained the former T&T U23 coach and former TT Pro League Coach of the Year.

“They take the fact that it’s a job for granted and they are still coming out with the mindset that it’s a sweat or a just a game. It’s a sad reality that I’m experiencing and I’m sure other coaches are experiencing it at their clubs as well and at the end of the day it affects the National teams.”

“There are players who take the job seriously but too many of them are not doing it,” he exclaimed.

McComie further stated that players who don’t play the part will be replaced and already has his eyes on a few teenaged options.

“I can say now that my players will have to work extremely hard. I have no problem with the skill level of my squad but it’s the professionalism I’m having a problem with.

“The ones that fall at the waist-side will be the ones that are not prepared.

“I’m already eyeing about four to five teenagers because we will get more hunger from them. But we need to make room for these positions. So the current guys will have to play for their places in the team,” said McComie.