Q. I guess the easiest way of putting this is, how do you break down that performance?
There’s no — I don’t think there’s a breakdown of the performance. I don’t have those words for you there. You have a goal one minute in, we’re down two nothing after eight minutes, we’re down three nothing on two shots after 20 minutes, so, yeah, it’s hard. It’s hard to come back in games when you’re on the road and you give up goals early. It’s exactly not what we needed. Not much I can say.
Q. What did you say to your team at the half to try and get some life back into them and remote investigate them for the second half?
Well, that’s what it was. Part of it was motivation to understand that it’s there for us, and part of it was it was a tactical and a formation shift. We went to a 4-2-3-1. We brought in Soteldo and we brought in Auro, and we knew we were bringing in as Pozuelo five, 10 minutes into the half.
It was both ways but most importantly it was about just trying to ramp things up again. We knew it would be a day about second balls and competing and coming out first on that end. So it was as much about that as the little tactical details. So those two things.
Q. Did you see players give up out there today?
Listen, you lose by that margin, yeah, look, it’s demoralizing. That’s part of it, yeah. So these guys have been through a lot, and it’s hard to stay in it.
And yeah, it’s transition moments cost us, yeah. It’s demoralizing. So part of it’s human nature in moments to just give in.
Q. Is the season now, is it even salvageable at this point? I know that there’s still a lot of soccer to be played but realistically?
Of course. We’re 11 games in. The guys just have to get going. This is not 20 games in. Yeah, but something has to give. There has to be a real shift in what goes on. So looking for solutions. You know, is it formation? Is it a couple of starters? Is it my fault? You can start looking every which way but something has to give. Something’s got to give.
So no, it’s got to get going. Change in mentality. A real shift in understanding that what got us to this point, that what got — for the players and the club to experience so many highs is not necessarily getting us the next highs. We’re at a place where we haven’t been before. It’s a strange time. It’s a difficult time for our team.
So if you’ve not been there, how do you know how to get out of it? And what they just said is, we’re going to stick together. We’re going to stick together. That’s what they are saying to each other, that’s what they are saying to me, and that’s what’s going to happen.
Q. I don’t even know what to say about that other than I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now. It’s the worst loss in this club’s history. Is there any thought in your mind that you and the club together, like do you have any answers?
In those moments when you’re down, there’s not a lot of answers, because you’re not playing and moving pieces around, hey, go a little bit higher here. That’s not the solution. So I don’t think there’s a coach out there in that moment that understands how to push the magical button or make a tactical shift.
Listen, there’s support from — there’s belief in having me come do a job and all along I knew it would be a challenge for where I think this team is at and the cycle of things. It’s been a hell of a challenge. And I believe I’m the right person to do that, to fix things, to get this thing going.
It’s hard to foresee exactly how it’s going to go, but of course, those questions have to be asked, right. I’m the guy pulling the strings at the top over here, but yeah, I believe I am. I believe that this group needs me and I need them. Together we are going to get out of this. That’s the truth.
Q. You came into this game saying that you had a plan. Is there concern now that that plan isn’t being picked up by the team? Is there any concern that maybe you’ve lost the dressing room a little bit?
Listen, the plan that I talked about last time was identifying where we’re strong and where we need to improve. That was the plan I talked about, and to be the guy steering the ship through a really tough moment that no one here on the inside has been through.
So is there concern about — listen, I see guys in a tough moment, they are all in a tough moment. That’s what I see. And there’s only one way to do that is you have to understand exactly where you’re at, why you’re there, what role can you play, stick together, carry your weight, understand that everyone plays a role here and that when you’re a last place team, you have to understand exactly why you’re there and why you’re there and take steps, and that’s the plan we talked about.
So no, listen, guys, it’s demoralizing. So when people are down, when we’re all down, it’s hard to say, hey, is he quitting on the game, is he quitting on the coach. Listen, that’s — I see what training looks like every day. I see the team that’s together and comes with high expectations but there’s motivation to step on a field and then you take some punches there and it’s hard to recover. That’s human beings.
In a really tough time, you get knocked down; it just becomes harder to get up. That’s what it is. It’s human nature. You can read into it, is he quitting on the coach. I see no reason why anyone around here would quit on a coach or a staff that, you know, when you see every day what goes on, that this would be a reason for that. It’s for other people to figure out.
Toronto FC’s 7-1 loss to DC United, a team that scored just 10 times all season heading into that matchup, was the largest margin of defeat in franchise history and the first time the club had conceded seven times in a match. The team has now lost six straight games, are last place in Major League Soccer, and are on pace for their worst season in franchise history.
The Reds are back in action on Wednesday when they take on the Eastern Conference leaders New England Revolution.