MONTREAL – Marco Schällibaum’s message to his team for this weekend is clear: you’ve got to want it more.
The Impact’s first training session after their poor second half in Toronto had a simple objective: stir up the team’s will to win ahead of their Eastern Conference clash against the Chicago Fire, this Saturday at Stade Saputo.
Mistakes notwithstanding, TFC’s desire simply seemed to burn brighter than Montreal’s as they triumphed by a 2-0 scoreline at home. For the Swiss coach, Wednesday night was “the first time I was disappointed after a game” since he took over.
“When we lost in Kansas City, the better team won,” Schällibaum told reporters on Thursday. “Yesterday, it was a matter of will to win, and I saw none of that in the second half.”
Evan Bush, the Impact’s goalkeeper at BMO field, admitted that Schällibaum’s assessment was a “fair” one. Unsatisfied with his first start in 2013, he pointed out a number of aspects he and his teammates had to improve on before they entertain the Fire – although Bush will likely watch from the bench as Troy Perkins returns.
“We wanted it, but I don’t think it came out the right ways,” Bush said. “Maybe there were some nerves out there, which is the wrong way to express how you want it. You keep it inside instead of playing freely, I guess. Going forward, I think it’s a good learning experience for everyone on the field: how you need to play, your intensity, your work rate and whatnot.”
The observation is widespread among the Impact’s playing and coaching staff: they were unable to show their talent against TFC, but that talent is genuine. At home on Saturday, the Impact should have freer rein to showcase their play, but Schällibaum warned that they’ll have to be in a better state of mind.
“Talent is the technical and tactical foundation of a player, but nowadays, a lot of it is mental,” he said. “I work every day on that, and you've got to have that will to do something good for the club, for yourself, for the team. These days, only results matter. You have to understand that.”