Minister of Sports, Anil Roberts, yesterday commended national football coach Stephen Hart for the tactical changes made on Monday night for their crucial Gold Cup group match against Honduras.
Hart made five changes going into the match with Cornell Glen, Kevin Molino, Daneil Cyrus, Andre Boucard and Radanfah Abu Bakr earning starting spots at the expense of ineffective captain Densill Theobald, winger Carlos Edwards, midfielder Keon Daniel, defender Seon Power and the injured Justin Hoyte.
Speaking to Newsday yesterday, Roberts, an avid football fan, praised coach Hart for the shuffle which saw TT earn a 2-0 win and book their spot in the quarter-finals.
“Congratulations to the coach for the choices made. The first two games we played we looked a bit slow and lethargic and couldn’t take care of the ball. The changes made worked and even the old soldier Cornell Glen ran really hard and freed up space for Jones on top. Mr Hart must be given full credit,” Roberts declared.
The Minister also believes the panache of TT football is starting to return and noted that seeing the second goal scored by Molino brought great joy to him and reminded him of one Hutson “Barber” Charles’ scored against the USA in the 1990 World Cup campaign.
The Minister also hailed the efforts of Khaleem Hyland and Daneil Cyrus and believes despite the forgettable 2014 World Cup campaign, the future is bright for TT.
He noted, however, that TT need to improve on retaining possession of the ball, being quicker in decision-making and show better movement off the ball in their next game.
Roberts also noted that the decent showing by the Warriors will go a long way in reviving the interest in the sport locally which had been in the doldrums.
“It was very important to have a good performance at the Gold Cup to get people believing in the Soca Warriors again. Sponsors will feel more confident investing in the team and it’s also important as football is the number on participatory sport in Trinidad,” he declared.