August 5th, 2012 by Michael Orr
We deserved to win. I said that after the last game with Chivas. A lot of credit to the guys, we went down 1-0. It feels like every mistake that we make, at the moment, we get punished for. I think that’s a valuable lesson for us, I hope we learn from it. I hope we continue to move forward. But I didn’t think any of the guys hung their heads. They kept working, I’m very proud of them. Going through what we’re going through at the moment, it’s a tremendous sign that they didn’t give up. They knew what we expected and what they expected of themselves. I take that as a big positive and a big plus for the players. They continued to try and find a way to win. Some of the football we played, I thought, was very impressive. Given that you would say the conditions today are probably more suited to Dallas, we continued to try, throughout the whole game, we tried to put them under pressure. We tried to play our game at home and create with an intent in the way that we played. I give a lot of credit to the guys.
That [more urgency] is always going to be the case unless the team don’t respond as they should. But their response was absolutely brilliant, absolutely brilliant. If you’re out there on a losing streak and you’ve got young players and you question their mentality in the past and you question their leadership, for that response, it hopefully shows that some of the players are maturing. That some of them are starting to give a little bit more, sacrifice a little bit more. I think that’s a positive. The urgency: I think we controlled the game prior to that, so we didn’t have to take the risks that, possibly, we took. And we were creating chances. I think even if you look at the number of shots that we had when they had a man sent off, it was still double what Dallas had. So we were controlling the game.
We’re creating chances. When you don’t put the chances away, being a defender, and being in that position in the past, it’s hard not to be a little bit negative in that position and start to say, ‘when are we going to score?’ Because it is every mistake that we make at the moment, we’re getting punished. Hopefully that changes.
I think we got the ball into dangerous areas. I think Kris [Boyd] has played a game in conditions that maybe aren’t suitable to him in where he comes from. The amount of time it takes foreigners to transition to this league is something that Kris has addressed himself. But in training you see the quality of the individual and the quality of the finishing. In a game like today, where it gets a little bit stretched in the attacking third, maybe we’ve got to do a better job of getting him the ball and he’s got to do a little bit better job to find the ball. I don’t think the conditions were ideal for Kris today but it’s something that we addressed and we’ll move on.
Just a system change [when Richards and Boyd came off]. We went with two up front to try to apply a little bit more pressure and push our wide midfielders a little bit higher. Try to keep them kept in their half. And I think it worked. If you look at the chances that we created, the movement of Danny [Mwanga] and Bright [Dike], I think was effective. The urgency from those two was very impressive. We started to get a few more chances. We were going for the throat at that stage, we were down by one, and we had to do something to positively affect the game.
You’re always trying to hang me out where I mention players. It was just a simple mistake from a defender [on Dallas' goal] and not tracking a runner, and we got punished. I forgot who it is.
Franck [Songo’o] was good. I think he had a bit of a rough deal from the referee. I think he was constantly being fouled and he did well to keep riding challenges and keep working with it. But he opened them up. And for Franck, he’s a special player. We need to get Franck doing that week-in-week-out because you’ve seen what he can do. Now we need to get him on the score sheet a little bit more. Franck is a player that, since I’ve been interim head coach, has been, at home, and by-and-large on the road, nothing but fantastic. We need to keep building that. I think Darlington [Nagbe], again, was effective at moments throughout the match. I think Kalif [Alhassan] was effective when he came on, was effective. We’ve got real young players who are coming in and playing with confidence out there. You’re starting to see some of the passage of play, some of the movement, our ability to keep the ball in tight spaces: some of that, to me, is impressive. Players are playing with a little bit more freedom. Now we’ve got to cut out the mistakes, play with that freedom and finish our chances.
We’ve taken the leash off of [Diego Chará] a little bit. We’ve asked him to pressure a little bit higher. I’ve never seen an engine on a player like that. I’m very impressed with his mentality, his work ethic, his desire. He’s a player that epitomizes what we want to be as an organization. That blue collar mentality, the ability to just work. His unselfish mannerisms and the unselfish way in which he plays, I think, is first class. Diego, I don’t speak about enough, but he’s a phenomenal person and an even better player.
It [Jack Jewsbury’s goal] takes us back a little bit to the start of last year when he was getting into good positions. I think it was a great strike. We could’ve had a couple. I thought Hartman was absolutely fantastic for them today. For Jack, I think it’s tremendous. He’s taken on a new role with this team, since we’ve changed a few things. He’s sitting a little bit more, freeing up Diego Chará and he’s done it with tremendous maturity and he’s been very productive. It’s not all roses, as such, because we’re still not getting wins. But we’re seeing enough positives in the way we’re trying to play and the changes that are happening, to start to believe that the tide is turning.
I think we have a very, very good understanding with the coaches and one that I’m happy with. I think all the coaches have an equal voice. My voice is no greater than theirs. Obviously, I deliver the final message. That’s the ultimatum, as such. I think with Sean [McAuley], with Amos [Magee], with Cameron [Knowles], with [Mike Toshack], they all play a role. Jim Rilatt comes in and is very effective. Today it was just to get a little bit more urgency. I know it was hot but we wanted to keep the accelerator on. So myself or Sean or Amos were constantly up and constantly trying to get a little bit more out of the players to see if we could. Whether it works or not, we’ll see. The responsibilities have been divided and it’s a collective group all going the same direction.
Maybe they didn’t deal with the heat too well. It’s frustrating. You’ve got to do it at the right times and for them it’s a level of maturity and it’s managing the game. It’s something we need to learn and also do better on the road. There’s no harm in them coming in and frustrating us. If we did that in our own home venue there would be tremendous problems. But for them, it’s maturity and managing the game. It’s something I don’t approve of. It’s something I don’t like. But I understand it. That’s all I can say about that.
Twenty-two, twenty-three shots on goal, I think, is what they registered. Just can’t put them in the back of the net. That’s really our big problem at this point.
Yeah, I guess [it’s good to get the point]. It still feels like a loss. We should’ve gotten three points tonight.
Experience and maturity, certainly [will help defensively]. It happens.
I think the team showed great resilience to come back and to even it. It shows where we’re at as a team, mentally. I think we’ve gotten stronger through this stretch.
We’ve just got to keep going and keep our heads up. I think the team’s playing well. I think we’ve really found ourselves. We’ve just got to finish our chances…It’s certainly a good sign that we can come back.
It was a pretty solid performance from us. Obviously the game changed when they go down and man and we continue to press. From the aspect of coming back from down a goal [missing] but we fell short of the three points that we definitely wanted.
I’ve played in plenty of different roles, that being one of them, in the past. It’s one that I’m pretty familiar with. It’s just a matter of me being able to organize as best I can from a little bit deeper in the midfield. I still want to go forward and get some chances when I can but at the end of the day it’s about keeping our group solid defensively, and organized.
[The goal] felt good, obviously, I hit it solid. I don’t know how it popped out but it came out pretty high and it was just a matter of stay focused on it and try to hit it solid. And I did.
We’d been testing [Kevin Hartman]. We had, I think, the one from Franck, he gets a touch off the post, and Bright’s breakaway. We’re creating chances, it’s a bit frustrating. But it was good to at least get a point out of it. Obviously disappointed we didn’t get all three.
For us [looking forward], it’s building off two positive performances. Points-wise, we haven’t been able to get what we want out of them. But if you look back at these last two games, the team as a whole fought, battled, created chances and defensively we’re a lot more organized than maybe we’ve been earlier in the year. There’s definitely some positives to take from that. It’s just about turning those positives into three points.
It’s nice to get a point out of the game. If Bright would’ve scored on the breakaway and get the point out of that one, it would’ve been fine, too. It’s always nice to contribute as much as you can no matter where you’re playing on the field. And it felt good to get that one.
Not good, to be fair, because we were expected to win the three points, and we created a lot of chances. We played against ten almost all the second half … I think they weren’t really dangerous, like they had two chances I would say, so we’re not really happy with the game.
Of course there are positives. Like last week, I don’t know how many shots we had, but we had a lot. There were chances for me where I’ve got to score. Sometimes you play great, you play good, but it’s not enough. I would rather play bad and win games.
No, it’s not about me. I think everyone is, because we are in a position that we shouldn’t be. We don’t think we should be there. I think we’re a great team, great players, great staff, but at the moment things are not going well. Everyone has to take a bit more responsibility. I’m not carrying the team, I think everyone is. I think we’ve got to do a bit more.
I’m just doing my thing. I had to catch up with the guys. I came back against Seattle and was solid, I think. I had two good games.
It’s easier for me, right now [playing forward] to get my shots. But I’m ready to play whatever the coach wants me to.