Sunday, February 25, 2018

Play without fear

Warriors coach reacts to Argentina loss


Buenos Aires battle: Argentina’s Marcos Rojo, left, jumps for a high ball with Trinidad and Tobago captain Kenwyne Jones during their international friendly international in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Wednesday. Argentina won the match 3-0. —Photo: AP

Mark Fraser

 It is so very hard to please Stephen Hart.

A perfectionist, the Trinidad and Tobago senior men´s national team head-coach was not pleased even when losing to two- time World Cup winners Argentina, one of the favourites for the FIFA World Cup which begins in a week´s time in Brazil. 

“We didn´t keep the ball well. We didn´t pass the ball well and when we won it, we gave the ball away far too easily,” Hart declared at the press conference immediately after  the Soca Warriors´ 3-0 defeat from their friendly international in Buenos Aires.  “Argentina forced us to play at a speed we are not comfortable with.”

Coach Hart however explained what he wants to see in future from his younger Warriors.  

“I would like better composure,¨he said. “Better use of the ball and to play without fear,” he said.  

However, there were some areas of the Warriors game that pleased the coach. 

 “We kept our defensive shape well and we closed the gaps and made it difficult for them to play.” 

However,  Raymond Tim Kee, president of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) took a slightly different view of the game.

“I thought they played quite well,”  Tim Kee said, while recognising the initial nervousness of the players in front of a massive crowd. “I was very pleased when I looked up at the crowd and saw that it was coming to halftime and it was still nil-nil.” 

Tim Kee said that the fact that the Argentine fans applauded such big underdogs afterwards, was indication that they thought the tiny Caribbean nation competed.

¨This 1.3 million population nation producing a team that played this well, I thought it was something to our credit,¨Tim Kee said.