Pfister backs T&T chances despite tough draw

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago coach Otto Pfister believes his side has a great chance of qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, despite what appears a difficult qualifying draw.

T&T, finalists in the 2006 World Cup staged in Germany, have been drawn in a Caribbean Zone Second Round Group B home-and-away series involving Bermuda, Guyana and Barbados.

The top team will advance to a third round group that already boasts threats from CONCACAF Gold Cup champions, Mexico and Costa Rica as automatic qualifiers, while El Salvador will be a possible fourth team as well.

From the third round group, the top two will qualify for the CONCACAF six-team final round qualifiers from which the top three earn places in Brazil.

The fourth ranked team, meanwhile, will meet the Oceania winner in a home-and-away playoff for another spot at the finals.
“Last time we flopped in November (Caribbean Digicel Cup) and we dropped too much places in the FIFA rankings and now we have to face the first qualification,” Pfister said.

“I think with a normal preparation we have a good chance. We have very good players outside and I can use five or six local players. Everybody has a chance and I think we have a good chance.

“At the same time we have to play six games, three home and three away and at the end of November, we will have a better team and we will have made progress from game to game. I am not afraid. I think we have a good chance to go to the World Cup.”

Since their historic World Cup qualification in 2006, T&T have lost steam and failed to make the final four of the Digicel Caribbean Cup last year.

As a result, they failed to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup in the United States earlier this year and also slipped in the FIFA World rankings.

Pfister, who replaced Trinidadian Russell Latapy following the DCC debacle, football tournaments were not always easy to predict.
You see in football … not all the favourite teams advance. You look at the Copa America, not Brazil, not Argentina,” he pointed out.
“All the big teams were out of the competition. You have no small teams again.You have to play every game to your best. If you play against Mexico or Costa Rica, you always have a chance. It’s a question of preparation and self confidence.”

T&T will begin their preparation with an international friendly on August 21 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium against India.

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