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Shabazz: T&T needs to get hungry
Following a 2-0 loss at home to Peru in Wednesday’s international friendly, T&T co-head coach Jamaal Shabaaz was of the opinion that while the result was not bad, the team, and by extension the country, needs to have more ambition.
Given the circumstances which the national team has faced post-World Cup 2006, Shabazz said the supporters could have easily swallowed the loss and pass it off as “not a bad result.”
He, however, insisted that the team and its supporters needed to strive further.
“We need to be more hungry, not just as a player, not as a coach, but as people,” Shabazz said.
He added, “For now, we’ll accept and say this is not bad, but we need to be more ambitious than this going forward.”
The pair indicated that the objectives of the team were both to maintain possession and to keep a solid backline, which, according to Shabazz, were fundamentally met despite conceding two goals.
However, he said at certain points the strategy of maintaining possession was overdone, when the team should have taken a more forward approach.
“Generally I felt the objective, beside the result, was met,” Shabazz said.
Adding to effect, co-head coach Hutson Charles joined: “Like Jamaal said, at times we overdid. I saw a lot of things we can work on. This game brought it out.”
Shabazz indicated that several of the senior players, including former captain Kenwyne Jones had an impact on the less experienced ones. Their advice, even at half-time, often serves a positive purpose.
“We feel we should give them more freedom to decide, because the problem is not the problem for the coach. The problem is for the players to solve on the pitch. And this we could achieve with a little more time on the pitch.”
Shabazz added he often forgets who are local and who are foreign based, as two groups adapt easily into training unit. Some foreign-based players did not receive an invitation for the match, but he said that may change in upcoming friendly fixtures.
The match was T&T’s first friendly for the year and it is understood to have been used in the initial stages of preparation for the Concacaf Gold Cup, which will take place in July. T&T qualified for the tournament late last year after reaching the final of the CFU Caribbean Cup.
At least two more international friendlies are expected before the tournament. However, the opponents and the dates of the matches are yet to be finalised.
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