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HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On always saying he’ll take a point on the road, and how that changes when they were up a man for 70 minutes …

“It’s obviously disappointing. I actually thought we played well the first half when they went down the man. Played more horizontal. Tried to switch the point of attack and spread them out a little bit. I thought second half we were too vertical and didn’t really make the man advantage pay enough. Then when we did get into the final third, I don’t think our quality was good enough this evening. I don’t know how many opportunities we’ve had to put the ball in the box, but, I don’t think their keeper has had enough to do in the second half.”

On Jan Gregus’ status …

“No, it’s an ankle. His ankle is sore. We’ll have a better idea how he is tomorrow. He’s got the ice pack on it now. He just said he felt really sore and he was running sore, so obviously he had to come off. We’ll see.”

On why it was such a challenge for his side to create anything in the second half …

“Because our quality wasn’t good enough. We’d gotten off of the ball in their half of the field, as I say, I don’t think we play side to side enough. The overload is on the opposite side. The weaker side. When they only then start to play one up, and you keep playing in straight lines, you’re not really getting what’s in your numerical advantage. And when we did get it wide and when we did get overloads in wide areas… I’ll just say that I don’t think we had enough quality tonight.”

On wanting to see Adrien Hunou with more anger and if this is something he has been trying to encourage from him …

“Yeah. I thought he was a lot better tonight. I thought his movement was excellent in the first half. Some really good moments combining with Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] and the midfield players. So, it was a better performance for him tonight. We had a good chat on Monday about where he feels he is. He feels as though he’s starting to settle in a little bit better. So, I think he’ll be better for the performance tonight. I really do.”

On what he thought of DJ Taylor’s performance against Cristian Espinoza tonight …

“Well, he’s a difficult customer. I thought he did well in the first half. He picked his moments to get forward. Second half, I thought he didn’t do as much as he could of done. And I just told him that. He’s got an incredible engine. He’s got really good pace. And I thought he could have affected the game more from coming in from behind the game.”

On the own goal and if he saw enough defensively before the own goal …

“Well, I thought… the problem is if you let the ball go to [Cristian] Espinoza, by the time he’s picked up some pace and gathered some momentum, he’s very difficult to stop. That’s his strength. That’s why they pay so much money for him. He’s a good player. He’s a handful to play against. But after that, I thought DJ [Taylor] handled him quite well in the first half. But, no, obviously when somebody smashes the ball across with so much pace, it’s difficult to sort your feet out. We’ve seen it a million times.”

On if it’s hard for Adrien Hunou not to feel frustrated after having a chance or two and not scoring …

“I’ll have to see it again. I couldn’t really… there’s that many bodies in front of us. I didn’t even know until you just said it was him who had the opportunity. I just know we had two or three bites at it. But, no, you have to keep getting in the right spots. I thought he tried to be in the right spots this evening. And if he keeps getting in there, it will turn for him. He’ll start to get a goal. His confidence will start to come back. And we’ll start seeing the player we know we’ve got.”

On how it feels to have another player go down and have the squad be that much shorter in depth …

“Obviously we’ve got a few injuries at this moment in time and games are coming up thick and fast. It’s never ideal. But that is one of the areas we do have bodies. Ozzie [Alonso] was there, we could have done that. But, I wanted to keep Hassani [Dotson], bring Hassani in the middle of the park. And see if we could get a wide guy on to create something for us in the wide areas. But, it wasn’t to be.”

On Ethan Finlay’s performance tonight …

“Thought he worked hard. He didn’t have the break a couple of times. I thought he made a couple of really good runs in the first half. The ball didn’t quite come to him at the right time. He’s been playing well of late. I thought he put a really good shift in tonight and worked hard for the group.”

MIDFIELDER WIL TRAPP

On how much fatigue played a factor…

“I don’t think it was too much of a factor, it was more the speed of play. We were up a man, we shouldn’t be tired. Sure, we did play three days ago, but at the same time we have done that before. I don’t think fatigue was an issue its more just our sharpness to play quickly and move them around.”

On scoring your first goal for MNUFC…

“It’s a good moment, of course I wish it would have come in a win. It’s always nice to score, I don’t score very often so it’s exciting for me. Hopefully we can continue to add more of that in the games coming forward.”

On playing too vertically and not wide enough…

“That’s definitely a part of it. Our spacing was also too far apart. We allowed them to isolate players. If you think about [Eric] Remedi getting tackles on ‘Rey’ [Emanuel Reynoso], that’s a byproduct of us being too far apart. You want to try and create numerical advantages by combining close at times and then springing players wide, springing Ethan [Finlay] wide or Justin [McMaster] when he came in to create more dangerous opportunities. Most of the time DJ [Taylor] was getting the ball wide in tons of space and same thing for Romain [Metanire], but now the pass 20-30 yards that they are having to fit into a guy with a man on his back. Our spacing and proximity to each other could have been much, much better.”

On lack of playing together being a cause for lack of offense…

“I think it was more about how the game was. They are a team that likes to isolate and play man for man. Especially when they are down a man it really puts them in their shell more. We tried to draw them out but we didn’t do it in the most intelligent ways. We got our fullbacks on the ball, but now where does the danger come from? We really want to get the ball in to ‘Rey’ and in to Ethan, in to Justin in to Adrien [Hunou] and in to Juan [Agudelo] when he came in. San Jose did a good job of compacting that space. So our patience our tempo and ultimately our spacing could have been better.”

On the injuries stacking up…

“We will have to assess where he [Jan Gregus] is at. It’s never good to see important players go down. And right now unfortunately we have a bit of a laundry list. At the same time, it gives guys opportunities. We will be calling upon players to step up in what’s a huge game against a very good team on Saturday. That’s how you start to build more and more confidence in the group when players have to rise to the occasion and that’s what we will be working for on Saturday.”

On what San Jose did tactically after going down to ten men…

“It’s interesting at times, they almost can’t help themselves at times – based on how they train – to press players. They are a hard-working group. You saw [Jeremy] Ebobisse, you saw Cade Cowell when he came on, they are still working to press our centerbacks. Ultimately I think the distance between their front strikers and their midfield line was huge, the gaps there. Once again we were too far apart, the next line and then the next line. Creating those spaces, those attractions to bring players out of position could have been sharper for us.”

On the assist from Hunou and how it may benefit him…

“It’s great that he is involved in the plays. He did a good job of running the channels in the first half, making himself a nuisance. He’s offside on the one play, but still its an intelligent run and a good finish. For him, it's about being proximate to the goal, proximate to situations that result in goals. [On the goal and assist], yeah he didn’t have to do much, he just laid it off to me, [just kidding], but for him it's important and we need to continue to put him in situations to be dangerous for us.”

On what Sporting KC brings…

“Peter [Vermes] continuously has an organized style of play. They are a hard team that is diligent in their work rate, their tackling, their defensive capabilities, their pressing. They also have quality. You look at the guys they have up front Daniel Salloi is having a great season, [Alan] Pulido is always dangerous. Khiry Shelton, another guy that can hurt you, then you throw Johnny Russell in there as well. They are a team that is able to hurt you in multiple ways and they have a good team spirit. It’s going to be a difficult game for us, we know that, but ultimately right now it’s about recovery, getting home and getting ready for Saturday.”

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