John Herdman determined to make sure Canada 'finish strong' in WCQ

Chris Smith
Herdman has inspired Canada during this qualification campaign.
Herdman has inspired Canada during this qualification campaign. / Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

After qualifying for their first World Cup since 1986, you'd forgive the Canadian Men's National Team if they were still celebrating, rather than preparing for their final qualifier against Panama.

The Canucks' return to the world stage has been a long time coming and there has been plenty of heartache suffered along the way.

But even with the CanMNT's place at Qatar 2022 in the bag, head coach John Herdman is not letting anyone relax just yet.

“The staff were back at it from 6:30 a.m. yesterday morning,” he said on Tuesday. “They were scouting, were putting the subs plan together, were making sure we got the right information so we can execute in Panama.”

Herdman has often stated that qualification was just one of a number of goals he'd set for this team. Canada might have lost their unbeaten record down in Costa Rica last week, but they still need one more point to absolutely confirm top spot in the group.

Finishing above the United States and Mexico would be one hell of a statement from this team; one Herdman is keen to make.

“We are finishing strong,” he declared. “We said we would qualify, but qualifying was only one of the goals that we had set. To really define a new Canada was to finish top of Concacaf.

"What we know is the US, they scored five against Panama, they could score five against Costa Rica and top us. We are not letting that happen."