Eve proud of Trinidad and Tobago, warns of Reggae Boyz response

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Trinidad and Tobago’s Reon Moore, right, in action against Jamaica on Saturday at Catherine Hall Sports Complex, Montego Bay, Jamaica. – TTFA

HEAD coach of the Trinidad and Tobago men’s football team Angus Eve knows his players must bring their A-game in the second international friendly against Jamaica on Tuesday, after the Reggae Boyz fell 1-0 in the first match on Saturday night.

Substitute Reon Moore’s goal in the 67th minute was enough to give TT a rare but deserved victory at the Catherine Hall Sports Complex in Montego Bay, Jamaica. It was TT’s first win against Jamaica in a decade.

“We know that they are going to come with a little bit more intensity because they are hurt and now they are going in the Office (National Stadium), as they affectionately call it,” Eve told TT Football Association media.

“We know we have to stand up, but these are the kind of challenges we want (and) these are the kind of games we want to be playing.” The teams will square off in Kingston at 8 pm TT time.

TT fielded mainly home-based players in the match as Eve wanted to give younger players an opportunity to play against a quality opponent. TT are ranked 104th in the FIFA rankings while Jamaica are 64th in the world.

Some of the experienced players missing for TT were Sheldon Bateau, Duane Muckette and Levi Garcia. One of the players making their debut for TT in the match was Kaile Auvray, who is born to a Trinidadian mother and a father from Guadeloupe. Other youngsters who started the match for TT were goal-keeper Denzil Smith, Andre Raymond, John-Paul Rochford and Jesse Williams.

Eve was proud of his inexperienced squad. “We started with a very young team as you saw…a lot of guys got their debut tonight and they showed that they could play at this level against a very good Jamaican team at home.”

Jamaica also played with a young team including striker Dujuan “Whisper” Richards, 17, who just signed with Chelsea FC in the English Premiership. Richards has been making headlines playing for Kingston College in Jamaica’s school football league.

Eve said his staff did their homework in preparation for the match. “Credit to the rest of my staff because the guys really put the work in. We researched the team. We had videos of them playing Cameroon and Argentina and we know that coaches don’t normally change their pattern, don’t change their style. We saw what they were doing and we just countered what they were doing defensively, and offensively we had a number of weapons.”

The TT coach was pleased with the effort of his players. “We have been training for the last couple of weeks. I know certain Jamaican reporters said we took a week off for Carnival, but that (performance) is a result of it. We know when to give our guys a little bit of a rest.

“When we came into the game today we were very sharp. We moved the ball well, as you saw, a lot of times. We created more chances than them and unfortunately we did not take them, but little experience (caused that). This experience will only augur well for them going into the future.”

The performance by the young TT players may give Eve a selection headache moving forward. Asked about it, Eve said, “The guys today, each one of them stood up. The guys who went on did their job also and that is the mark of a strong team. I know the guys abroad are watching the game, so they would see what the guys put down today and know the standard we are setting for the squad.”

Eve said captain Joevin Jones led from the front. “I thought he was excellent tonight. He was getting in behind (defenders), he was dropping in the pocket (and) he was holding up the ball for the team and I thought he led the team as the captain very well tonight.”

Moore, 26, is continuing to show he belongs in national colours. The Defence Force player from Sangre Grande only needed a few minutes after coming off the bench to make his mark. After collecting a pass from Jones, Moore’s left-footed shot beat goal-keeper Kemar Foster at the near post.

Speaking about Moore after the match, Eve said, “There is a meme going around that I have been asking Reon for more and this is a result of pushing him and pushing him to his full potential.”

Moore had a short stint with Guatemalan club CSD Municipal last year.