This evening, the Hasely Crawford Stadium becomes this country’s main battlefield as Trinidad and Tobago’s Senior Men’s Team face off with Panama in a CONCACAF 2018 World Cup qualifier from 7pm.
The two teams have completed their build ups to the crucial encounter and a pulsating encounter looks in Port of Spain.
T&T head coach Dennis Lawrence believes his players will need to match their opponents in every department and do better in others.
“They (Panama) will be very well organised and will make themselves tough to beat as well as being a very competitive group and we need to understand that the first thing we have to try and do is match their desire because they are a team that plays with their heart and they look hungry.
“They are a hungry bunch and we need to match that first and then whatever qualities we have got would be enough. But we have to match their intensity, hunger and endeavour to try and win games,” he said.
Lawrence said he was privileged to be part of this historical 2006 World Cup qualification but he wants the current squad to create their own history.
“We were all members of the World Cup team in 2006 but what we have tried to express to the guys is that what we did in 2005 and 2006 was fantastic and is now history.
He said, “I now want these players to create their won history. I want history for these players to come and say we are here and we want to take up the mantle and we want to take T&T football to another level.
“So I have given ownership to them now. But what we have done is never to be forgotten, however at this moment in time its not really important, it’s what they do now to take us forward is what I’m interested in.”
Lawrence will name his team captain and final 23-man squad for the match today.
“We need to believe in what we are doing and we have prepared for this game and if we for whatever reason try to go away from what we are good at then we will put ourselves in a difficult situation. So the most important thing is for me to express to the players that we have to believe in what we are going to do and we have to commit to it and we have to carry it out for 90 minutes.”
Lawrence added: “If there is any changes that need to be made it will be made amongst ourselves, but then the players are the most important thing and the intelligent ones.
“They are going to be the ones who are going to be on the pitch and they will see what is required at the moment in time and what I’m hoping is that they would make the right decisions.
“So the ownership is on to them to some point, but we are going to have direction in how we are going to try and approach the game to get a result.”