CLEVELAND.- After a 2-0 loss to Panama in the opening match of Group D at the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup, Trinidad and Tobago Manager Dennis Lawrence is looking for his team to clean some things up going into a crucial match-up with the United States.
“We need to take much better care of the football,” Lawrence said in his pre-match press conference at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland on Friday. “I think we also need to try and raise our intensity in the attacking third. It’s important for us to eliminate the mistakes that cost us in the game with Panama.”
When asked about the positives he took from Tuesday’s loss to Panama, Lawrence pointed to the early stages of the game.
“I think we started very bright,” said Lawrence. “Unfortunately, we were unable to sustain that. We wanted to get on the ball and play football the way we like to play. We did that well early on, but now it’s about sustaining that for 90 minutes.”
Lawrence was then asked about U.S. star Christian Pulisic, and how he plans to approach one of the most potent attacking players in the tournament.
“I think they (U.S.) have been clever in terms of how they’re using him,” Lawrence began. “They’re not just putting him at the number ten, where he’s easily marked. He’s now playing more on the left of a midfield three, and he can very easily become a central striker at any moment.”
“It’s always going to be hard to mark players of his caliber,” Lawrence continued. “For me, one of the ways that we can deal with him is to keep the ball. If they have the ball less, then it’s less opportunities for him to hurt us, and this needs to be a total team effort for us to be successful.”