National Senior Team head coach Leo Beenhakker says that the Team that will take Trinidad and Tobago to the next World Cup Finals in Germany is far and foremost of most importance over the next week leading up to the half slot playoffs Bahrain.
A sprite looking Beenhakker addressed the local media upon his arrival from Holland along with assistants Wim Rijsbergen and Theo de Jong at the VIP Lounge, Piarco International Airport on Friday evening.
Beehakker spoke on matters regarding the team’s preparations and what he and his assistants partook in while away following the 2-1 win over Mexico and also commented on issues he termed as “garbage” which grabbed the attention of many over the last couple weeks.
“We left about three weeks ago after the game against Mexico. We understand that everybody was very excited about the situation of the team now making the playoffs. After starting at the beginning of May more or less from ground zero but we are still in there,” Beenhakker said in his opening comments.
He expressed some degree of disappointment on not being able to secure the services of Aston Villa defender Jlloyd Samuel due to FIFA regulations. He also had a look at German-based player Evans Wise.
“This week we got the news that we couldn’t use this guy due to FIFA regulations which was a little bit disappointing to us especially over Jlloyd Samuel who made a very good impression on us based on the way he played and his talent. We have to accept it. We also made a trip to Germany to see Evans Wise and we came to the conclusion that he is still not ready to help us, to help the team.”
“At the same time for the last three weeks we were very aware of what happened in Bahrain. We got a lot of information and DVDS which I can use to know everybody and their players individually. We did our homework and we have all the stuff to inform the players within the next week. So in that way everything is prepared. We just have to wait for everybody to arrive in good health and good shape to start this concentration next week Monday and Tuesday,” Beenhakker said.
“What I also got in Europe based on Internet awas that there was a lot of other stuff, more or less garbage around what happened after the Mexico game. I don’t want to talk too much about it. One of the more important things, at least in my philosophy, is to defend and to protect very well the team itself. The only way to be successful in actual international football is to act like a real team, not only in the players, but also the technical and medical staff. That way we had some small troubles in the last camp when we played Panama and Mexico. Based on that little troubles we had, I had to make a decision that David Nakhid was no longer a member of the staff in that way. I’m not interested in going into any details at all but it was in my opinion, it’s not a personal thing but more than ever the most important part is that the players and the staff members work like a real team and have a very good spirit and I cannot accept for the moment any problems within this team. There are always tough decisions but once again in football first of all you have to think about a team and then you have to think about the interest of the individual guys, players, staff members and so on.”
The Dutch-born coach also warned about complacency stepping into T&T’s game, adding that the matches will be far from a walk over.
“I’m not worried about it but I have to pay a little bit of attention to the confidence and especially the optimistic atmosphere that we are so close to participate in Germany. After our performances against Panama and Mexico, perhaps everybody was thinking that the two matches will be a piece of cake. Well I can assure you that it will be a very tough job. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t have all the confidence that we can make it,” he said
“Everybody has the right to be very optimistic and very excited for the actual situation of the team but once again based on what we saw the last three weeks, all the information and DVDS we saw, It’s not an impossible job I can tell you that but at the same time it will be very tough games for us to bring this team to Germany. And the only think that we can promise you and all the fans and everybody involved in this project is that we will work with it base don our experience, based on professionalism.
Reflecting on the recent performances which has carried T&T to this close to a World Cup, the former Ajax boss continued: “That was not the end but it was the beginning of something. It has to be the beginning of something nice and something beautiful and not the end of something nice.
News also reached the T&T camp that Southampton striker Kenwyne Jones will not travel again on Sunday due to a hamstring injury which has not fully healed and Beenhakker will name his replacement this weekend. The players begin arriving on Sunday with Dennis Lawrence and Chris Birchall coming in then while the others arrive on Monday and skipper Dwight Yorke being the final arriver on Tuesday.