Sun, Sep

Skipper Kenwyne unfazed by criticism or praises.

MEMBERS of the Trinidad and Tobago football team on Friday thanked fans for their support during Friday’s 1-0 win over Panama at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. the result jump-start T&T’s World Cup campaign with three points from three matches.

Midfielder Kevin Molino scored in the 37th minute as T&T earned a battling victory. 

Molino declined to be interviewed by the media after the game but a number of his teammates were pleased with the fan support as well as their performances under pressure. 

One such person is striker Kenwyne Jones, who was back on the team - and as captain - after he was excluded from the squad altogether by previous coach Tom Saintfiet. 

“I feel okay,” was his response when asked about his return to the squad. “That stuff don’t matter to me. At the end of the day, my mindset is about doing the best for Trinidad and Tobago and helping them to the place that we need to be. 

“The goal is try and make it to Russia (hosts of the 2018 World Cup). We want to take it one game at a time and try to get there.” During the latter stages of former coach Stephen Hart’s tenure (Hart was fired in November), Jones bore the brunt of abuse from fans at the matches and on social media, for sub-par displays. 

But his wholehearted effort on Friday saw him receive a standing ovation when he was replaced by Jamille Boatswain in the 84th minute. 

However, Jones insisted, “No disrespect but I don’t work for the fans. I have 26 guys and staff members to work for, my family to work for, I have a role within the team to play and that’s what I go out there to do. 

“However the fans feel after that, I’m not going to be held responsible but when it comes to the game, what I’ve done (vs Panama) I’ve been doing all the time. I’m taking flak for whatever reason but it doesn’t faze me. “I know what I have to do out there and that’s about it. At the end of the day, you always have the people who think they can do better so it’s not a big issue for me.”