Defender Keyeno Thomas says that his partnership with English-based defender Dennis Lawrence will flourish despite the fact that they most times only have a couple days to train together before going into action.
Lawrence marshaled the backline in the previous campaign with Brent Sancho and Marvin Andrews who has been sidelined with injury but may not be too far off from a timely recovery.
“I think we are accustomed to the fact that we only have a few days with the overseas pros before the World Cup matches but it’s not that bad because we have a certain understanding. Dennis coming into the team is a plus at all times and he will fit in easily with the other defenders. His role is not only important as a defender but his communication with the boys in front is also good,” Thomas told TTFF Media on Sunday.
“A lot of hard work and trying to listen and gain experience from the other players I’ve played with has helped me to improve my game and that’s mainly the reason I’ve been able to fight my way back into the team. Hopefully this process will continue and I can keep on performing well in the backline for the team.”
The likes of Kenwyne Jones and Carlos Edwards have demonstrated the force that T&T possesses in attack, not to forget the prolific Jason Scotland, the consistency of Stern John’s scoring record for T&T. But for Thomas, it’s important that his company at the back keep things intact.
“We have to make sure that things are safe at the back. I think once we can keep it clean then we will always create chances and score goals.”
“We expect it to be a hostile stadium but we have to put that out of our sight and just play football. They will be confident after the win over Peru so we need to be aware of how they will be approaching the game,” Thomas said.
“I think people will be looking at us to get the three points but no team can be considered a weak team in this group. I will not be disappointed with a point on Wednesday but I want the win for sure. That is the start we are aiming for,” Thomas added.
The ex-Colorado Rapids man, who served as captain of the T&T team on the tour of Argentina, also commended his home-based teammates for their showing leading up the match versus El Salvador.
“Guys like Trent (Noel) and Clyde (Leon) have done well so far. Everyone has taken their game to another level which has given the coaches some other options. That also makes the level of the training sessions raise to a standard because most times or all times the overseas pros always come into the camp with a certain level of fitness and playing ability and it’s easier to take it into the matches,” Thomas added.
Meantime, head coach Francisco Maturana rejoined the camp on Sunday morning after traveling to LA for El Salvador’s 1-0 win over Peru on Friday. Word is that scores of El Salvador fans are also coming into the country on charter flights for Wednesday’s qualifier.
“The El Salvador people were very happy with their victory over Peru and they will have a lot of confidence for Wednesday’s game,” Maturana said. “But these two days will be critical because all our players will be together.”
The full T&T team will train in San Salvador at around 6pm (8pm T&T time) on Monday.