New England Coach – Jay Heaps
Thoughts on today’s game…
The first three minutes, and the first half, was not our best stuff. They had two chances and they scored on both of them and marking wasn’t good in the back and that needs to be better. As the game went on I like the way we showed good resolve, we didn’t panic we just kept going on about it and just kind of chipped away and obviously the second half was much better.
Did you remind the guys that this is a team that gave up a two-goal lead mid-week?
No, it was more about us. It was the same thing at half-time against D.C., we are still in a process of believing in each other and figuring out what kind of team we are going to be. So at half-time it was really more about what we need to do and not so much who we are playing against. It was about correcting what we did wrong and how do we go out in the second half and be a better team. That was not brought up it was just about each other and I thing that was a good starting point for us because there are times when the guy next to you, you have to know he is good enough and you have to believe in yourself.
You tweaked the formation in the second half. What was the thought process behind that?
Well it was, I felt like the space behind their two backs was important to get their back line spread out because I felt like they were doing a good job of keeping their centre backs, one against Saer (Sene) a little wider and you could see that happened passing lanes open up. I thought that Kelyn (Rowe) did an excellent job dropping in the hole and allowing Benny (Feilhaber) to play free. And then it showed you that Fio Lechner had an excellent impact on the game because as soon as we got forward, he has that calm resolve to pick someone out in the box.
It seemed like you guys sparked to life after you got your first goal…
Yeah, obviously we were down 2-0 on the road and we were trying to go at them as hard as we could. I thought the substitutions came in and brought a good spark to the game. Benny (Feilhaber) hit a great shot and the keeper made a good save, he just happened to push it to where I thought it might go and I was able to pounce on it. I think we were really unfortunate not to get three points but it’s kind of been like this all year, we’ve given up goals early and having to fight back.
With the troubles this team (Toronto FC) has had, did you think that you could pull this back and get something out of this game?
Yeah, I think we definitely did. The last 30-35 minutes of the second half we were really taking it to them. I think they showed that they couldn’t get the ball out of their own end. We are a confident team and we know what we are capable of doing which is what makes the first half so disappointing. Like I said, I think we were really unlucky to not get a third there.
You guys had a good start in the second half…
Yeah, definitely. We thought as players that it wasn’t as bad as the score line showed. They had two crosses and they scored on both of them in the first half and other than that we felt like we created some chances and other than those two goals we were pretty good defensively. We just had to stick with it. We believe in each other and we believe in ourselves and it showed.
You saw this team blow a two goal lead earlier this week. Does that give you confidence?
Oh yeah definitely. Right before the game I was telling the guys that this team (Toronto FC) has given up five goals in the past two games and that this is their third game in a week. All we have got to do is play good defensively and we are going to get our chances. And it showed, they died at the end of the game, their hands on their knees, breathing heavy and if you look at them in their eyes they looked really tired and we took advantage.
How did it feel for you to get back out there?
It was great, the ankle was strong and I didn’t have any problems with the ankle. The right calf started to tighten up so I don’t think my body is ready for 90 (minutes) but the ankle is good which is a positive. I was glad to get sixty something minutes so I’m happy.
Toronto FC Head Coach Paul Mariner
It’s an understatement to say we are all disappointed. I think we were running out of fumes towards the end with the long road trip having 3 games in 7 days but we just couldn’t hold it.
Did you see it coming?
What was the reason for the substitutions?
Torsten (Frings) had a lot of mileage, Julien was away with the national team, you can only do so much.
Why so many goals off crosses into the box?
We have young defenders. The defenders need to get focused on body shaped and get caught on the ball. The body position should be open a little bit. We’ve got a very young back four
What do you have to do in order to get a compete 90 minutes from the team?
Obviously I am going to rest them up this week as we have Montreal coming up, the local derby, a massive game. The players are absolutely gutted but they will be ready to play. We were 30 seconds away from a win which would have done wonders for us and the lads are feeling a bit sorry for themselves.
Player – Ashtone Morgan
What happened in the game?
We worked so hard but we tied the game and the game was in our hands. It’s a shame that we gave two goals away at the end of the game but that’s football. We can’t continue playing like this as we need to see these games out and get the 3 points.
Did it feel like Houston all over again?
Yeah, as you know, in the MLS, the last 5 minutes is always a big fight. Teams start throwing their big boys up and try and win every possession. Congrats to New England but we need to learn how to see the game out
What was working in the first half for you?
Right from the warm-up I was feeling my crosses and they were looking very good and I was just doing what I do best and get up the field and get balls into the box and we were fortunate enough to get two goals out of them.
Player: Danny Koevermans
What went wrong today?
I think they outplayed us and they deserved the draw. They played good soccer, Feilhaber was very good today.
Player: Richard Eckersely
Very similar finish to the Houston game…
It is so disappointing as we were defending for the last 25-30 minutes, we’ve got to find a way to keep the ball better, stop giving possession back to them and it starts with all of us. We need to learn from this, if we keep playing the way we are playing, we won’t get results.
Is there a sense of panic that comes over the team? Can you put into words what the feeling is?
To be honest, I don’t know. It’s just a case of everyone pulling together and doing it together, not just one or two players but everyone needs to be fighting for each other. The sooner we start doing that, the sooner we start winning the games comfortably.