“Trinidad Won’t Take Anything For Granted”

With 16 thrilling encounters to go, the final eight teams that make up the Digicel Caribbean Cup Groups H and I all have high hopes of making it into the top four. Group F winners, Trinidad & Tobago, arrived in Martinique on Tuesday ahead of their Group H matches which kick off tomorrow. The team Coach, Russell Latapy, spoke exclusively to www.digicelfootball.com about preparations so far and  the respect he has for their opponents.

“We are quite satisfied so far. Obviously you are never totally satisfied and there’s always something you could have done better or things you would have done if you had more time but all in all we’re quite happy so far. We tried to schedule a friendly game but unfortunately it didn’t work out so we decided not to pursue that. However, we have had three or four training sessions before leaving for Martinique.

“I would say that we are quietly confident. We came through our Group stage well, winning all three games, and  of course we had the support of the home crowd.  We achieved all that we set out to do by winning all three games and coming through to the finals so we are happy and would like to continue that form. However, that was phase one and this is a completely different phase of the tournament. We won’t be taking anything for granted and have the utmost respect for all the teams. We want to go out and play our way to the best of our ability and, if we do that, we are quite capable of winning the Digicel Cup. 

“In terms of our opponents, we have a bit of information on Cuba as they played and won the final Group.  While we respect our opponents we’re concentrating on how we play and if we can play to the best of our potential, then we’ll be happy and hopefully we can get results.

“I think every game is different and I think they are going to be three difficult games. Cuba are a strong team with good organisation and some great players. Grenada play with a lot of heart and courage and Martinique are the host nation and therefore have the home support. They will want to do well in front of the home fans so I’m expecting three completely different games.

“Like any team, we have a couple of great players, but we try to play as a strong team. Jorsling scored quite a few goals in the tournament so far and hopefully he can continue that form and get a few more goals. We have a pretty young team – most of them aged 19, 20 and 21 – and it is a question of giving these young guys the experience, as well as giving them the opportunity to showcase their talent and fulfill their potential. This is really important.

“For the finals, it’s difficult to predict anything. In football, there are no guarantees. The reality is we’re one of the favourites coming into this competition and I would like to finish as one of the favourites as well. For us, the Digicel Caribbean Cup is a build up to the world cup qualifying campaign – this is where it starts. From here, we would hope to progress to the Gold Cup which is probably a little tougher with the best teams from the CONCACAF region. It’s about progressing and the Digicel Cup gives you an indication of where you are and what you need to do and for that reason we want to do pretty well here.” 

Trinidad & Tobago will take on Cuba, Grenada and Martinique in Group H of the Digicel Caribbean Cup 2010 at the Pierre Aliker Stadium in Dillon.

All final matches will be aired live throughout the Caribbean and on an as-live basis on FOX Television in North America – for free.