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Wed, Oct

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Cornell replaces SilvioTrinidad and Tobago’s Senior footballers will begin their challenge for the 2010 Digicel Caribbean Cup Finals with one thing on their mind “Win our opening match and set the pace for the others to follow”.

 

That was the view of head coach Russell Latapy on the eve of their opening  Group  encounter against Cuba at the Pierre Aliker Stadium in Dillon from 6pm on Friday.

Latapy was scheduled to put his team players through their paces on Thursday evening at a nearby training venue.

And the final 20-man squad  for the tournament includes San Jose Earthquakes striker Cornell Glen who has replaced W Connection’s Silvio Spann.

According to head coach Russell Latapy, it was a purely technical reason  behind Glen’s inclusion.

“It’s because of the balance of the team and once Cornell was declared fit and available for the tournament… it was a decision taken based on that and he will now join the team at the expense of the Silvio,” Latapy told TTFF Media.

“As I’ve said before, we continue to look at the players that are able to bring something to the team that can help us go forward in the best way possible.

Silvio is a player who has a lot of experience as is with the case with several other players and they will continue to be part of the national team pool and be used accordingly depending on the challenges that are ahead of us.”

Latapy is optimistic that his squad can overcome their first match opponents and in-form striker Devon Jorsling as well as midfielder Hughtun Hector, Trent Noel, captain Clyde Leon and Kerry Baptiste among others will be eager to see the team get off to a winning start.

“We know Cuba is a team that will not lie down at any point and they are capable of playing a good game of football. But we are also capable of the doing the same and we need to prove that we are better at it.

I’ve had the opportunity of playing against them in the last campaign and we definitely have what it takes to get three points on the team.

“What I would like to see is the manner in which we go along in doing that and once we can get off to a winning start in a convincing fashion, then that that’s the important thing.

No team is here in Martinique to give away easy matches so in saying that, we will also ensure we approach the game with the same winning attitude and approach as we did in the previous three matches,” Latapy said.

Team captain Clyde Leon is also in good spirits ahead of the encounter.

“We’ve settled in here and the boys are ready to get this tournament on the go. We have been preparing for this a while now and we are anxious to take the field and play some good entertaining football and achieve winning results.

Cuba can be tricky but we will have to ensure they don’t play any tricks on us and it must be our team sitting with three points on the standings after this one,” Leon said.

When T&T defeated Cuba 3-1 in the semi-final round encounter in Havana in 2008,  Keon Daniel notched a double and Glen added another item. Both men will be hoping to reproduce similar performances.

Leon, Densill Theobald and  Anthony Wolfe were also in the line-up back then and are both  in the current squad. T&T then whipped Cuba 3-0 in the home leg at the Hasely Crawford Stadium through goals by Dwight Yorke, Kenwyne Jones and Daniel.

The Tobago-born midfielder is the only player in the current squad who played in that last meeting between the two teams while Latapy played for 74 minutes before being replaced by Stern John. Hosts Martinique and Grenada will meet in the second game from 8:30pm.

According to Digicel, All final matches will be aired live throughout the Caribbean and on an as-live basis on FOX Television in North America – for free. CNC 3 will have a delayed telecast of the match. On Saturday, Jamaica tackles Antigua/Barbuda and Guyana faces Guadeloupe.