Having learned a nasty lesson on fan passion in Panama, Canada boss Stephen Hart says his team is looking at various ways to counteract any future disturbances.
That was the underlying message from Canada head coach Stephen Hart in regards to the fan disturbances that disrupted his team's rest ahead of a 2-0 loss to Panama in that country's capital earlier this month.
"We looked at everything," Hart said in a conference call on Thursday. "Obviously, we had made provisions for some sort of disturbance outside the hotel in Panama. What we can't do anything about is [the use of] stereo systems, fireworks display, and everything else that went on.
"We can't control what goes on in the street, but we are and will be taking a number of precautions along those lines."
The Canadians were in for a rude awakening in the days leading up to that match, the result of which allowed Panama to regain possession of top spot in Group C of the CONCACAF region's World Cup qualification tournament. The highly organized fan disturbances outside Canada's hotel had a clear effect on Hart's squad, and the coach expects more of the same - albeit maybe not as crazy - in Honduras when the Canadians travel there for a match on Oct. 16.
"I've never seen [it] like Panama," the coach explained. "I've witnessed some street stuff before in Honduras in the past, but nothing like that what was done in Panama."
When asked what specifically the team plans on doing to ensure that its players are well-rested, Hart was coy, although he did mention rest as something that is of paramount importance.
"It's a matter of sleep patterns and that sort of thing," he said. "What we're going to try to do is to eliminate what disrupted the sleep patterns in the first place."
Hart wouldn't elaborate any further, however.
"I don't want to talk too much about it, for obvious reasons."
Not forgetting that Canada has a crucial, nearly must-win game in Toronto against the already eliminated Cubans on Oct. 12, Hart stressed that he is not overlooking any game in this round.
"They might be out of the running, but they're also preparing for a tournament to get to [the] Gold Cup and they're playing for pride, they're a very proud people," Hart said of a Cuba side that has yet to score after four World Cup qualification matches this year.
"I think they will come to show that they are a team that probably could have done better, or are better than they have presently shown."
Canada is currently third in Group C, behind Panama and tied with second-place Honduras on points. The Hondurans have a superior goal differential.