Sun | Jun 24, 2018

T&T legend calls for more commitment

Published:Wednesday | January 18, 2017 | 12:00 AM

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

Outstanding former Trinidad and Tobago striker, Stern John, has questioned the commitment of the current national players, and has urged them to lift their professionalism if the country is to quality for the next year's World Cup in Russia.

The 40-year-old, who scored 70 goals in over 100 appearances for T&T, said despite the fiasco surrounding the vacant coaching role, players needed to take personal responsibility for their performances and display the pride required at the national level.

"The players need to have a look at themselves as well and have some personal pride and put everything behind their backs and just get on with the game," the former Birmingham City and Coventry frontman told the Newsday newspaper here.

T&T have endured a run of recent poor results which has led to the departure of two coaches in the space of seven weeks.

First, T&T failed to make the finals of the Caribbean Cup and then made a terrible start to the CONCACAF qualifying final round for the 2018 World Cup when they lost their opening matches to Costa Rica and Honduras last November.

The results cost long-time coach Stephen Hart his job but his replacement, Belgian Saintfiet, resigned after just five weeks and four games in charge, after T&T failed to reach a critical qualification playoff for the prestigious CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Describing the current situation as a "shambles", John placed the burden of responsibility on the players to turn things around.

"The players now they [are] not that passionate about the game and they don't really understand the importance of Trinidad and Tobago getting to another World Cup," he lamented.

T&T currently languish one from bottom of the CONCACAF final round standings without a point but will need to regroup quickly as they face Panama and Mexico in their next two qualifiers in late March.