New York Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber was impressed with his team’s performance against Atlanta United on Wednesday, despite their failure to turn dominance to three points.
The New Jersey team had complete control over their decisive playoff game against the Five Stripes, overwhelmed the visitors with a violent pressure and delivered a total of 36 crosses.
But Atlanta stood firm and averted all Red Bull progress and returned home to Georgia with some of the booty. Although he saw his team fail to take advantage of his dominance, head coach Struber still had very positive things to reflect on.
“I have a big compliment for my boys and my coaching staff,” said Struber, who was forced to watch from the stands due to a suspension at a match. “We dominate all phases of the game, we show so much discipline in our game plan.”
Struber admits he would like to see a more clinical series from his team, but is still happy with the “identity” he has created.
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“We have to be critical of ourselves about our inability to score – these are the main points we need to improve,” he added. “But our identity, our special style of play helps us so much, it kills all hope and this is what we have to do on Sunday.”
The Red Bulls are one place and one point above the playoffs ahead of Sunday’s tricky Decision Day game at Nashville SC, which are unbeaten at home this season.
But midfielder Dru Yearwood is confident his team can pull off a result that will seal their place in the MLS Cup playoffs for the 12th year in a row – if the Red Bulls can refine their finish.
“I think if we play the same way we did today, I have every confidence that we will get the result (against Nashville),” he said. “From minute one it was pure dominance, but there are no excuses for not getting the goal we needed.”
Although Nashville are formidable at home, the Red Bulls can at least take confidence from their 2-0 win over Gary Smith’s team earlier this season.
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