Postgame Quotes: MINvCHI

Postgame Quotes | #MINvCHI

Presented by:   Star Tribune

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On what he felt like was the issue in the first half defensively …
“I don’t think it was defensively. I think it was an attitude. Attitude of mind. It looked like one team needed to win and get into the playoffs and one was happy just to be playing football. And, that was a big difference. After about 25 minutes, I felt we started to play on the front foot a little bit more and then in the second half, it was more like when we’re at our best.”

On what changed in the second half …
“Attitude. Individuals taking responsibility. Not taking the easy option. Playing on the front foot. Individual battles. It sounds very simple. It’s one of the hardest things to do in modern day football. Everybody is a coach. Everybody knows what to do. Everybody knows what tactics are. I think with Chris Wilder recently it was said, I’m fed up with teams beating us and then everybody talks about the tactics. They never talk about how people want to run. How people want to fight. How people want to play the right ball and get out of your comfort zone. And, if we do that, we’re okay. As we proved second half. I thought some of our play was excellent second half. But, it shouldn’t need me to be as irate and as emotional I was at halftime to get that type of reaction.”

On Minnesota United not losing a game since the end of September and what that says about this group and all the shuffling of the lineup it’s had to endure to keep a streak going that long …
“The one thing I can take out of it, it’s seven games I think that we haven’t lost a game. You know, we’ve kept going. And the response was excellent today in the second half. But, as I said to the players, and I wasn’t being disrespectful, we cannot play at 75 percent and win games. We can’t do it. We’re not that good. And I’m not on about our team. I’m on about teams in the MLS. The parity that there is in this league, if you play, as I say, 75 percent, 80 percent, you’re going to get beat. And it shouldn’t need me at halftime to be as animated and as angry as I am to get that response in the second half. Because it’s nothing to do with the fact that we haven’t played. Yeah, we could use it as an excuse. We haven’t trained together since the last game. The last Wednesday game. I get that. That doesn’t mean you can’t run. That doesn’t mean you can’t fight the guy you’re playing against. And that’s never changed. I played in a really good team. Full of internationals. And we were the same. We dropped it a notch, we were bang average. But we knew, if we wanted to be successful, we knew what it took. And we weren’t prepared to put up with mediocre and 75 percent. And we never let anybody get away with it. And that has never changed. And it never will.”

On what he saw from Brent Kallman and Jose Aja …
“I thought for the first half an hour they summed everybody else up. It wasn’t just them. Everybody took a backwards step rather than taking a forwards step. Because taking a forwards step actually gets you out of your comfort zone sometimes. And then as the game wore on, then it was individuals. I’m going to win my individual battle. We’re going to win this and then we’re going to play in their half. Then we’re going to run forward. Then we’re going to run back. Quicker than the opposition. You can talk about, obviously the quality, when [Emanuel] Reynoso was there for all to see. Completely changed the game for us. I know that. But, the most important thing, was not all that. It was us getting out of our comfort zone and getting them out of their comfort zone. Making the, play quicker than they wanted. And when we do that, we’re okay. When we don’t, we play like we did for the first half an hour.”

On if we saw the value of Michael Boxall tonight …
“Well, I actually thought the two center backs, after… As I say, after they’ve… they weren’t worse than anybody else, the first half an hour. You can’t play football going backwards all the time. Playing backwards. Passing it to your goalkeeper. Letting him try and find people. Take the responsibility. And I felt after the first 25 minutes we started to do that. We started to be progressive in our play.”

On if he expects any players in particular back for the weekend …
“We’ll have to see. You know, we’ve even got a couple of knocks from tonight’s game as well. Some we’ll have to see where we are and we’ll do what we can. But, the end of the season can’t come quick enough in terms of us sort of getting the troops together and having a little look where we are and hopefully getting some time together. I know it’s an international break and we’re going to lose two or three players, but the fact that we could have a week, 10 days together, doing some work, would help us.”

On if there’s a reason he believes players are coming out at 75, 80 percent in a game like this …
“I don’t know. I don’t know. It’s not good enough. I know that. I know it’s not what we expect. And they know that.”

On how much his heart sank when Chicago scored at the end before VAR called it back …
“No, it didn’t. I was pleased with the second half. And it would have been positives. And them things happen in football. As it happens it was either offside or we hand balled. But in the second half we deserved to be 2-2. And had the game gone on longer, with the attitude we were showing, I expected us to go and win the game.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER ROBIN LOD

On what changed between the first and second half…
“No one was satisfied with the performance in the first half and we spoke at halftime that we need to work harder and run more. We need to make it more difficult for the opponent and that’s what we did in the second half.”

On why the team came out so flat on in the first half…
“The last week has been a little bit different. We couldn’t train properly as a team and there were some days off and people training alone and of course that affected us a little bit. As we got the rhythm the second half was much better.”

On how important Decision Day will be next week for homefield advantage…
“We need to play a little bit better. There are times we played well in the game, but we struggle sometimes to have a full 90 minutes.  That’s really important for us. We have shown we have played well, but we need to show that we can play the whole game well.”

On your goal…
“Romain [Metanire] hit the perfect cross and it came straight to my head and I was lucky to head it in.”​

On what has made you more comfortable in scoring this season…
“I know what I can do. I am just trying to do my best in every game. Sometimes when you get a few goals you get a confidence boost and that has been helpful for me this season.”

On what Emanuel Reynoso brings and your comfort level on the left…
“As a left-footed player it suits me better sometimes to come from the sideline and get my left foot on the inside of the game and it makes it a bit easier to make passes and through balls.”

On takeaways from the halftime speech from coach Heath…
“You just need to give your all in the game. You just can’t go into a game and expect something to happen for you, you have to make it yourself and you need to work hard.”

MINNESOTA UNITED MIDFIELDER JAN GREGUS

On what got the team going in the second half…
“I just think everybody could just feel like the first half was not enough, and what we needed to do was adjust the pressure, defend, and run more and have a better movement and I think that’s what happened second half.”

On staying unbeaten through seven games…
“Yeah we are, but on the other hand I think we could do much better with a few of the games and get a win. But in general I think the shape was good. I think, especially second half, from our part was very good in the games and hopefully next game is going to be a full-game [performance] from the start – from the beginning.”​

On playing with Marlon Hairston and both being more attacking center-midfielders…
“Well, yes like you said, yes maybe. But, on the other hand we knew that we had to press the midfielders and basically the strikers were up to the defenders. So, our job was basically when you play like an eight, or let’s say the other midfielder (defending one), it’s our role. Yeah, I think Marlon did a really good job, good game.”

On difficulty of establishing a flow with guys coming in and out of the lineup…
“Like you said, if you would like to use it as an excuse, we should use it the whole season because from the start of the season to this game, there were so many changes, and injured players. I think, many new players that came in and do a very good job. And that’s the point. You have to have a strong squad, and when somebody pulls out of it, there’s a next one that is that good or maybe even better, so that’s a huge advantage when you have players like.”

On facing FC Dallas next and thoughts on wanting to win points tonight…
“We did, we did, especially the home game was good for us. The plan was a little bit different, the plan was to win this game and then the following one. That didn’t happen but we need to do what we need to do basically and that’s to win the next game whatsoever. Whatever will happen after will happen and will not be in our hands. In our hands, is to put a great performance on, on Sunday, against Dallas and that’s the most important thing right now.”

On what it meant to wear the captain’s arm band…
“Oh, it’s a huge privilege. I was a little bit surprised to be honest when I saw it…but also I felt very good to wear it and lead the boys. Obviously, there is Ozzie [Alonoso} that is the main captain and [Michael Boxall] was out also. Being the third one wearing it is a nice feeling and I really appreciate it.”

On if the game changes when Emanuel Reynoso is in…
“Yeah, we know his quality, his very strong one-on-ones, so every time he does some dribbling and we can go with more players up front and ‘we have this.’ Yes, with him there is – I have a feeling – we have more offensive possibilities. Obviously he has great technique and he’s showing it every game that we play, so it’s good for us.”

Topics: