Soca Warriors captain Khaleem Hyland says he believes his team has what it takes to rebound from its 2-0 loss to Panama in their 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Pool B match at Allianz Field, Minnesota on Tuesday night.
The defeat left T&T joint bottom of the four-team pool with Guyana, which suffered a 4-0 drubbing against the USA in Tuesday's second match.
Up next for T&T is a clash with the USA on Saturday in Cleveland before facing Guyana next Wednesday in Kansas.
Speaking after the loss to Panama, the 30-year-old Hyland who plays for Saudi Arabian club, Al Faisaly said: "Its always a difficult game against Panama. We know Panama is a good team as they hold back and wait on the counter-attack."
"We had a good start, but just you know simple mistakes cost us and I would take the blame for the first goal, but you know its a team effort and we will keep on going until the last game."
Looking ahead to his team's next match Hyland said, "We focus now on the next game which is America and hopefully we can do things and change things around."
"At this level when you don't score, you will always get chances against you, so it's very difficult to don't score and expect the other teams to don't score also."
"So you have to have some luck on your side which we didn't have today, but as we say, we will go back to the drawing board, work hard and hope we can tidy up our mistakes and come out for the next game against America.
Asked he felt T&T had what it takes to get the positive results in its next two matches, Hyland replied, "For sure we have what it takes to rebound. I believe in all the guys and the staff, we have been working hard and we just have to continue to work hard and hopefully, we can be successful at the end.
"We just need to improve on our own mistakes. We give away too many easy passes which simply we could do better because it cost us the game."
Midfielder Kevin Molino, 29, of US Major League Soccer's Minnesota United said it was a tough one to lose.
He added, "I think we fought hard and certain periods of the game we could have done better, all of us were sloppy.
"We have to rebound, and go back to the drawing board and work hard, and keep the fight."
"I wanted three points, unfortunately, I didn't get it, but I'm happy to be here and playing and the fan support was great."
"Overall, we did get the three points we wanted, we now have to stay focus and look forward to the next match."
Looking ahead to the USA match on Saturday, Molino said, "We just need to get a good result and make sure and don't lose the game, and I believe we have what it takes in the locker room to win the game."
Molino noted the Americans will be coming to win the match against T&T as well to make amends for the defeat during the last World Cup qualifiers, which dashed their qualifications hopes and handed Panama a World Cup spot.
"They will be coming with an extra drive, but also us because we want to win the game and qualify for the next rounds.
"For us most importantly it's not about the last result, but for us right now here and trying to go forward in this tournament."
Winger, Levi Garcia, 21, of Ironi Kiryat Shmona in Israel said it was a disappointing result.
"The team fought hard, so we have to recuperate, continue training and we still have two games in hand that can bring us six points. It was a good start to the game for us, we were full of confidence and we were doing well. The chances we didn't take them and we were a bit sloppy in the attacking third. Both goals came from simple mistakes."
"But we are all at fault as a team, and as I would say, we slept a little bit and we paid for it.
Looking ahead to the rest of the tournament, Garcia said, "I totally believe in the team, and anticipates the guys coming back in training, working even harder and getting the six points that we need."
Lawrence: We paid the price for defensive lapses.
By Nigel Simon (Guardian).
Soca Warriors coach, Dennis Lawrence said his team paid the price by conceding two goals due to defensive lapses in their CONCACAF Gold Cup Pool B opener, 2-0 loss to Panama at the Allianz Field, Minnesota on Tuesday night.
Second-half goals from Armano Cooper in the 52nd and Edgar Barcenas in the 68th earn the Central Americans three points and ended a nine-match winless streak since their World Cup campaign, and the team's first win in 14 matches dating back to April 17, last year.
Speaking after the loss on Tuesady night, Lawrence was quick to state he felt the match itself was close.
He said, "I didn’t feel it was much in the game. The two critical moments came when we gave the ball away, and we got caught, and the second one was we almost scored. So two soft goals we give away. We have dug ourselves in a bit of a hole now which means we have to start thinking about getting two wins from the next two games."
He continued, "That’s international football. If you don’t take your chances and you give away possession you can get hurt. Panama has quality players that can do that to you, so we now need to recover very quickly. Pull away from all the negatives and go onto the next game.”
Commenting on the first-half display of winger Nathan Lewis, who played on the right flank, Lawrence, a former national World Cup defender said, "As I said before, to me there was nothing much in the game, and I actually think in the first half we had probably the better of the chances. We got in better situations without putting the ball in the back of the net, and Nathan, unfortunately, got a bit tired coming down to the end of the half, which I think is because of the lack of game time with his club (he plays for Lansing Ignite), and is something that we need to try and work on between now and then."
He explained, "Kevin has obviously been out for a while, but when it comes to playing in his home stadium, I think it would have been foolish of us not to try and take advantage of that situation, and he did relatively well. I think with the way Panama played, particularly in the first half, with Escobar (Fidel) playing more of a sitting in, it helped him (Molino) because he was able to play and stay with him, and then when we got possession, he was able to play off of him."
Up next for the T&T is a must-win clash with host USA on Saturday, at First Energy Stadium, Cleveland, Ohio from 8 pm before Guyana match four days later at Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas on June 26, from 6.30pm.
The Americans sit at the top of the four-team pool after blanking Guyana 4-0 in Tuesday's second match at the Allianz Field.