His general thoughts about the game.
I thought we were in control first half and then we fell behind with a few minutes to go in the second. We reacted but we couldn't quite claw it back. But I was very pleased.
And again, it was a very calm discussion at halftime because we made some very good chances first half. We had some real quality in our attack, our buildup play was good. We like coming here, we enjoy playing here. When you fall behind like we did — it was a good goal, it was a good finish — you have to remain calm and you have to remain consistent with the players. And that’s all we did, we had a good chat.
The message was to continue wher we’d left off but maybe sort of a bit tighter around the box. Their striker was very good, the black lad up front. I really liked him, he was dangerous holding it up. Their midfield just got the opposite side and he finished. So as long as we can be disciplined second half, I felt that we’d score goals.
And it happened. And they were two excellent goals; so smooth, well worked, great one and two touch play on the outside. Look at our goals now, where they’re coming from wide areas with real quality. Cameron Iwasa’s started to make a big difference now on the field. And it were two great finishes. Adam missed a couple and I said to him ‘you have to keep believing. Keep getting in the right areas and it’ll come. And it did. So it was about keeping faith and I said to them that we were on a good run in the league and we didn’t want to loose it. Not tonight, not in the mood we was in.
I think I’ve said every week that we could’ve won by more. I think I said when I came that I couldn’t moan at players missing chances and I’m not going to. Thommy was in some good positions to score and he came on — I’m desperate for Thommy to score a goal for us. I’m sure it’s going to come soon. We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing. We’ve got to remain consistent to each other because we’re looking a really strong outfit now, very disciplined. I thought we really did pick them off, I mean we counter attacked really well tonight.
On Adam Jahn’s surprise availability tonight and how that came about.
Well as you know, I’ve got a really positive realtionship with [San Jose Earthquakes Head Coach] Dominik Kinnear and I suggested to him that maybe Adam should come and play. I don’t think Adam’s fitness levels are where Dominik wants them the boy’s not played a lot. We agreed on 60 minutes, we agreed to give Adam 60. He’d scored over the week for us so it was a worthwhile phonecall. I’m pleased I made the call now.
I think that’s the key at the moment. All my staff, everybody’s doing the extra bit ,and certainly our fans tonight, getting in their cars or transport to come up here and make it like a home fixture. It was incereadible support again. We're growing as a club and it’s very positive.
On tonight being the 10th time in 12 games that Republic has ended the first half without a goal and how he’s going to turn that around.
I’d like to say how many times we’ve gone in without conceding, really. It took a very good goal to beat us tonight and we were able come back, and if you’re able to come back it shows that you have increadible character. We’ve got trenendous characters in the dressing room. We’ve got a group that is very much together and with each other.
We spoke about the boys that didn’t get on the field tonight, people like Pridham and Maxie, that didn’t get on the field, Chase Minter, LaGrassa, Newton. These players are a big part in it, they’re all going to play a part. I think we have an increadible spirit. We have no heros, so to speak. We’re a very workmanlike outfit and the quality is there now, the quality of the goals was very pleasing. We’re on a terriffic run in the league and we want to continue it now.
On the importance of James Kiffe and Emrah Klimenta and how much he emphasizes their offensive contributions.
Well, when I came to the club, James and Emrah were high up the field, they’re attacking fullbacks. It’s no good being up there if you can’t deliver the ball, if you can’t deliver the ball in a good area. We've worked tirelessly with the pair of them. Tirelessly.
And it hasn’t come straight away, it’s come over time. It’s come over by being consistent when we've lost games, when we haven’t delivered good balls. There was a time Emrah was hitting them out of the back and James was nailing them and putting them in great areas. That’s the key. That’s the benefit of working on the training field day in, day out, keep doing the right things.
And all of a sudden now they’re putting in glorious balls. I mean, they are top balls. They’re able to get up the field — same with Cameron Iwasa, he gets up the field. He needs to finish. Tavo, he gets up the field and previously he overhits the pass. Tonight the pass was perfect. So it’s about quality now. It’s about repetition in traiing and we’re starting to get the rewards.
On what JJ Koval, back from injury as a starter, brings to central midfield that others don’t.
Stability. Koval and Auggie bring a stability in the middle. If James and Emrah are up the field that high you’ve got to be careful. They’re very good behind the ball. They start the attacks for us, but if we loose it, we’re not getting broken on. We broke on them so many times tonight, let’s be honest about it. I want that for my team. I don’t want teams breaking on us. So they do that, they're reliable.
I thought Koval tonight looked back to his best. He drove to the ball well, his quality was there, and overall it wa a very good team performance. I thougth Chris Christian and da Fonte were solid against some trickey customers up front. That will do Mike no harm at all, he needs games. And it shows you what we have, you know. We lost Derek Foran tonight, Mike comes in and you wouldn’t have known there was any change.
So this again, this is the key. The key is to treat them all the same. Be consistent with every one of them. It’s hard to love them sometimes when they miss from six yards or they give a goal away at the back like we’d done for the last few weeks, but I’m very proud of the group.
On if he had any worries about the playing surface in Reno, a converted baseball field.
No. We never make any excuses. We’ve not made an excuse all season. I mean, just at the end there, their coach — I forget the chap’s name — I did laugh because he was howling for some more time and I said ‘you know, you wanted to waste all that time at ours.’ I was joking and he took it the wrong way. I said ‘you cant one week not want time and now you want time.’ So we play the game in the right way. Our players tried to score goals all night. We played in the right spirit and I was very proud.
This is a great place to play football. We love coming here. I think the Reno people have done a great job. And again, our supporters traveling was phenomenal.
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