Guerra happy with free role in T&T line-up ahead of Wales clash

By March 13, 2019
Ataullah Guerra Ataullah Guerra

Ataulla Guerra re-acquainted himself with Trinidad and Tobago’s national set-up in 2017 after an absence of three years and is now saying he is happy with the way things are going under head coach, Dennis Lawrence. 

Lawrence, who took over the role of T&T head coach toward the end of the twin-island republic’s failed World Cup bid, has signed a contract extension with the Trinidad and Tobago Football Association, bringing an end to a couple of years of instability.

Guerra, who had found himself sidelined during the different iterations of coaches after Stephen Hart was sacked, is now back, and believes the team is beginning to understand Lawrence’s philosophy.

“Preparation wise, we have been working hard, very hard,” said Guerra. “The coach has a certain philosophy that he wants us to work on and we have been trying hard to get that in our game and try to work on our defensive game,” said Guerra.

In that set-up, Guerra has been given a free role, much like the one he enjoys for Charleston Battery in the United States Soccer League (USL).

“If I can go forward, he gives me the privilege to go and to come back and help the defence. It’s a free role and I enjoy playing that football for coach Lawrence and [Charleston Battery] coach Michael Anhaeuser,” said Guerra.

As a unit, the team, has been working on its possession game, according to Guerra, something the coach has been stressing.

“We have been trying to keep the ball a lot and put that into our game. They let me play my football, give me an opportunity to play forward and don’t try to stifle my game in any aspect.”

The T&T side are in preparation for a friendly international against Wales on March 20 The Racecourse Ground in Wrexham.

Wales, with players like Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, should provide more than just a stern test for the Trinidad and Tobago and Guerra is expecting it.

“[It] is a big challenge for us like the Iran game,” he said. “It’s a team that we expect to be very physical and [play] a high intensity, fast paced football game. We need to get a result.”

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Related items

  • Morocco frustrated by Messi's friendly absence Morocco frustrated by Messi's friendly absence

    The Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF) sought clarity regarding Lionel Messi's injury, having been frustrated to learn that Argentina would be without their star man for Tuesday's friendly.

    Messi made his return to the international stage last week, but Argentina were beaten 3-1 by Venezuela in Madrid and the Barcelona star was later revealed to be suffering with a pelvic injury.

    That ailment will keep Messi out of Argentina's trip to Tangier, as was confirmed to Morocco in a letter on Saturday.

    But having agreed with Argentina that their best team would be on show, the FRMF asked for a further explanation, seemingly seeking to ensure Messi's injury is genuine.

    A statement from the federation read: "The FRMF on Saturday received a letter from the agent of the friendly match against Argentina, officially confirming the absence of Lionel Messi.

    "According to the same letter, the agent confirmed that the Argentine Football Association said that Messi had been injured in a match against Venezuela on Friday in Madrid, and that he directly joined Barcelona for treatment.

    "The FRMF asked for clarification from the match agent, approved by the Argentine Football Federation, after news of Messi's absence from Tuesday's match in Tangier.

    "It is worth noting that the FMRF had agreed in the contract organising this friendly match to face Argentina's first team."

    Morocco were held to a 0-0 draw by Malawi in an African Nations Cup qualifier on Friday.

  • Maradona slams players and 'inept' AFA president Tapia after Venezuela defeat Maradona slams players and 'inept' AFA president Tapia after Venezuela defeat

    Diego Maradona labelled the Argentine Football Association's (AFA) president Claudio Tapia as "inept" and believes the team that lost to Venezuela is not fit to wear the Argentina shirt.

    The build-up to Friday's game was dominated by Lionel Messi, who returned from his self-imposed post-World Cup hiatus for the friendly at Atletico Madrid's Wanda Metropolitano.

    But Argentina were ultimately well-beaten, as they lost 3-1 to Rafael Dudamel's side despite Messi playing the full game.

    Argentina icon Maradona did not spare the players from his criticism, however his ire was mostly directed at those in charge.

    "I am very Argentine and I feel like I am part of a different group of coaches and players," he told reporters.

    "I know what [Oscar] Ruggeri, [Gabriel] Batistuta, [Claudio] Caniggia are thinking… That this team doesn't deserve the shirt. The ones I named had the shirt tattooed on.


    "Those who are inept and are running the AFA thought that they would win against Venezuela? Venezuela are a proper team and Argentina came into this through the window, not the front door, because they betrayed and constantly lied to people.

    "I'm sorry, but Argentina are not going to win a game. I don't know what Tapia will be, if he will be a maths teacher or what, but he has no idea [what he is doing].

    "I'm sorry for the Argentine public, who continue to believe these liars. I'm sorry for the players who have to show their faces when they shouldn't have to.

    "It should be the leaders who start doing things right.

    "Messi has to ignore the critics. It's not his fault, he's in a bad, disorganised team, a team that always depends on him in every way.

    "He's an amazing and extraordinary player, he's got nothing to prove to anyone."

    Argentina return to action on Tuesday against Morocco in Tangier, although they will be without the mercurial Messi due to injury.


  • Giggs hails blend of youth and experience Giggs hails blend of youth and experience

    Ryan Giggs hailed the blend of youth and experience that helped Wales earn a 1-0 win over Slovakia in the opening game of their European 2020 qualifier. 

    Daniel James' goal after five minutes at Cardiff City Stadium proved to be decisive and the 21-year-old winger was the stand-out player throughout an afternoon on which Wales were worthy winners against Pavel Hapal's men.

    While Gareth Bale was a closely marked man, James thrived on the space afforded to him and fellow youngsters David Brooks and Harry Wilson, who were also impressive. 

    Giggs was satisfied after seeing his faith in his young players repaid, while the likes of Bale, Joe Allen and substitute Ashley Williams helped were on hand to add a little extra know-how.

    "There were so many outstanding performances and we dug in at the end to get that clean sheet," Giggs told Sky Sports.

    "In the first half we showed real composure. We rode our luck a little bit in the second half and I thought we could have scored a few more in the first but some of the play was fantastic, paired with great determination.

    "We have got a great group of older players and younger players. We have got a lot of talent in the squad too so we will always create chances.

    "It wasn't easy at the end but Ashley Williams came on to see us home and give us that experience."

    Bale said Giggs' young charges have bought into the ethos that helped Wales reach Euro 2016, and underlined the importance of staying strong in defence.

    "Everyone put in a shift," said the Real Madrid forward. "That's what we're used to now, the minimum requirement is you give 100 per cent.

    "All the lads showed that – even the younger ones who weren't in the last campaigns.

    "Even before the Euros and in the Euros, we built on a good solid defence and the whole team works hard together in units and we know we're always going to nick a goal. Today it was Dan and it was a great strike.

    "It's what we needed. In the second half we came under a lot of pressure but we started the game well, got the early goal, and when we shut up shop we know how to do it."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.