After the Columbus Crew were thrashed 4-2 by the New England Revolution in the first round of the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday, the Black and Gold got back on the training pitch on Tuesday. Head coach Gregg Berhalter wasn't happy with what he saw, saying the players were still feeling sorry for themselves. On Wednesday, the mood was better at training and Berhalter said the session went better.
Many of the players remained on the field working on things after training was officially over. While this should be expected from a team that needs to win by three goals on Sunday in order to keep their season alive, it was good to see the players putting in the extra work.
Some players were down on the far end of the field working with assistant coach Pat Onstad, who was working on set pieces with them. He was giving instructions on how to best defend what the Revolution like to do in those situations.
Conversation with Berhalter
- Berhalter said the training session today was much better. Said there was much more execution, the focus was good, and he thought the players did a good job. Berhalter admitted everyone was stunned after the 4-2 defeat and there was a terrible feeling that's hard to shake. He said there's a fine line between that feeling and fueling yourself for the next game.
- The head coach said his team needs to deal with the loss and accept that's what it was. They need to figure out why it happen and not hide from.
- He said everyone needs to do a little more because they could only have four days left in the season if they don't play a good game.
- Berhalter said there will have to be a fine balance between offensive pressure and their defensive awareness on Sunday. He said you look at the game in stretches and you have to manage the game.
- Berhalter said the approach of pushing for a win in a game comes into play. They have worked on that before and worked on it more today.
- The head coach said they need to have a sense of urgency on Sunday. He said the tempo must be high in their actions.
- Berhalter said the first two goals were mental lapses with set pieces and the third and fourth goal were a balance issue in terms of where players are on the field.
- Berhalter admitted anything is possible at this stage in terms of changes to his lineup. He called the team desperate and wants to get guys on the field that are ready to perform.
- Berhalter said they have to look at the tape from the last game because they need to learn from it.
- Berhalter doesn't believe New England will change much because they had a game plan that was successful the first time and if they execute it again they should be in good shape.
- Berhalter said Federico Higuain and Bernardo Anor were limited in training today. Did some work on the stationary bikes. He does not believe that is a concern for the weekend.