Defender Aubrey David is suggesting the T&T team, throw all its focus on the Bahamas team first, ahead of what can be a qualification to the CONCACAF Gold Cup next year and promotion to Group A in the CONCACAF Nations League.
They will have to beat the Bahamians on Friday at the Thomas A Robinson National Stadium in Nassau to set up a showdown with Nicaragua on Monday at the Dwight Yorke Stadium in Bacolet, Tobago.
The Nicaraguans lead Group C with ten points with T&T in second on nine, but with the Bahamas in third position on three, the battle comes down to a battle between first and second.
David, who now plays for Ecuadorian top-tier team Sociedad Deportiva Aucas, touched down at the team camp in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale in Florida, USA, and had some advice for his teammates.
“Firstly, let them know that it doesn’t matter the rank of the team because obviously, we are ranked higher than the Bahamas but at the end of the day, it’s 11 versus 11 and they’re not going to come to lay down.
“They’re not going to come and say let us give T&T the points, so we need to be focused, we need to concentrate from the first whistle and I think we need to take our chances. I think early goals will be key for us to get the confidence and make us more relaxed in terms of playing more football because the longer the game goes on at nil-nil, you tend to get a little bit anxious and a little bit impatient.
“So I think an early goal for us will be key. It is a very important game for us, we need to leave there with three points and set up a grand finale in Tobago against Nicaragua,” David said.
David reminded his teammates that the Bahamians threw T&T out of the World Cup qualifiers in 2021. On Tuesday, the Bahamians announced their team for the encounter. Their roster comprises five foreign-based players, inclusive of veteran “Swiss Knife” Lesly St Fleur and Christopher Rahming who told the media on Tuesday that the T&T team will have something to prove in the encounter.
St Fleur said, “It’s going to be an exciting game (against Trinidad and Tobago), knowing that we drew 0-0 with them the last time we played here. They have something to prove so they are coming to play hard, and we will be ready for the task ahead.”
David and his teammates have been set a standard to follow after the 104th-ranking Soca Warriors exceeded expectations by beating 64th-ranked regional rivals Jamaica 1-0 in a two-game series on March 11 and 14 in Jamaica.
David said: “The lads did a very good job in the three games they played, which shows the work they did with the coach and the excellent job they’ve been doing. So it’s very good to continue that momentum they had. Even the players who are not here, they did an excellent job, so I think the responsibility is on us to continue to carry out the great job that they’ve been doing which will only augur well for the whole national pool.”