His general thoughts on the game
I think the first half was a good half for us other than the goal. I think their coach said to me there we should have been up a couple at the half — and we knew that. There’s always a danger in soccer where if you don’t put your chances away, you can get punished, you can gt sucker punched.
The message second half was to get on the front foot, we didn’t quite [do that] as much as I’d half liked. Although we withstood some possession from them, which was good for us because maybe a couple of months ago we would’ve been picked off and lost the game. We picked it up -- I thought the subs made a difference. Three games in six days is a big ask so the subs were ready. Maybe on another day Christian Chaney wins the game for us. I mean, that was a fantastic ball from Kiffe and that’s what he’s good at, Chaney. Their keeper did make two or three very good saves.
The first half really was where we had the opportunity to get hold of the game and make them do something different, but we couldn’t quite finish. I couldn’t see from the dugout how clear [our chances] were, but certainly we had enough pressure to maybe have scored a couple of goals.
On if RGV’s back line might be one of the strongest Republic has faced thus far.
Yeah, it is. We got to their goal on a number of occasions, so fair play to our boys. We worked the ball well. The space was outside — they were very compact in the middle — we worked the space well. We just couldn’t find the net. We scored a lot of goals in the four games previous.
I was very pleased we didn’t lose it in the end. That last bit where the linesman gives a free kick against us. That can really deflate us, and it didn’t. We were resolute. All that was missing is to get ahead in the game and I really think we would have gone on. We’re on a good run now. It’s the second consecutive shutout, which is good for us.
I was pleased with the energy of the players [tonight]. I thought the supporters were fantastic and begging us to get the goal. We nearly did against a good team. It was a tough game and we played our part, that’s for sure. Now we need to be ready for the next game.
His thoughts on playing Reno again this weekend.
Well we need to have a rest from this and have a look at what we did well. See how the boys are this week and know that it’s going to be a tough game. Know that they’re going to want to get even from the last game. It can work a couple ways when you play a team in quick succession.
On whether he is frustrated about tonight’s result.
Like I said, if you don’t score chances when you have the pressure that we had, there’s a chance that it can go against you. That happens a lot. If you can make it count, they will have a spell in the game — and they did. Near the end we looked like we could unlock the door. I think at the end we had the best chances.
On if the first half was the cleanest Republic has played all season
I think Wednesday night was very good. I think we continued where we left off. That was a good performance in the first half -- we just lacked the goal. As you rightly say, they blocked a lot. We definitely played our part in the game against a good team. We can’t just turn up and expect a win. It’s a tough league with some tough teams and this is one of them.
On how the recent packed schedule has impacted the players, specifically Barrera.
Well like I say, we’ve had three games in six days. It’s a lot and we haven’t got a lot of midfielders at the moment. Moffat’s still trying to get fit so we’re a little weak in that area. So Danny’s had to stay on the field. I’d love to bring Danny off at times... but he’s performances have really started to pick up now. He’s always someone you want to have on the field. I think the boys at the end were entitled to be a little bit leggy with the shift we’ve put in over those six days.
He’s important to us. Barrera’s defensive side has really picked up. We know what he can do with the ball. And I think he’s showing a lot more legs in the game now. I trust him to last the whole 90 minutes, I trust him to come in the middle. We were trying to change the formation and exploit some space. It wasn’t to be.