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Richie Williams, Mark-Anthony Kaye Don't Make Excuses for Poor Performance Against CF Montreal
"I just think that the new players in right now, we just maybe need to have a little more focus in training on exactly how we’re going to break down teams.”
It was quite evident that New England’s attack was struggling on Saturday evening up in Montreal.
The Revs finished the match with only two shots and an xG of 0.04. While New England was missing the likes of Gustavo Bou and DeJuan Jones, that performance is unacceptable.
Giacomo Vrioni was the lone striker on the night and his most impressive contribution to the match was his pressing. It’s clear that he still needs to work on his hold-up play and he struggles when he doesn't get service into the box.
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The lack of service issue was intensified due to the absences of Brandon Bye and Jones. Both of these players are known for their ability to whip balls into the box from out wide and without them New England struggled to create chances on the wing.
Hopefully, Tomas Chancalay will prove to be a dynamic attacker on the wing but he struggled to make an impact against Montreal after coming off the bench to make his Revolution debut. With no Jones and Bye, New England was forced to play through the middle and found no success.
Richie Williams highlighted the lack of a threat in the final third after the loss.
We probably created a couple more chances than Montréal, but we just weren't great in the final third all night long,” the Revolution coach said. “We had a handful of times where we tried to make passes in behind them with some good runs, but credit to Montreal, they cut them out and we couldn’t complete them.”
Midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye added that New England made life difficult for itself and that the Revolution didn’t show enough quality going forward.
“I think there was a different kind of feel tonight, trying to attack Montreal. I think we didn’t take advantage of making enough runs in behind where we could really threaten their backline and get them turned. We made it difficult for ourselves when everyone is trying to come to the ball and play in front of them. That’s what they want when they have a back five. They have numbers back there. I think we weren’t sharp enough also in transition, when we did play forward. We either didn’t play to the right foot of our teammate or missed a pass and that allowed them to recover. Tonight, overall, it didn’t really matter who we were missing. I just don’t think we showed enough quality going forward.”
The match against Montreal was New England’s first in over two weeks. After getting knocked out of Leagues Cup, the Revs had their match against Nashville SC postponed as they were still in the tournament.
It would have been easy for the Revolution to use the layoff as an excuse but both Kaye and Williams failed to blame the time off for their poor performance.
“I'm not going to blame time off for the sharpness,” the coach stated. “For me, it was more in the final third. I guess if you want to say that, sure. We just didn't get it done. So the bottom line, whether you have a break or you don't have a break, at the end of the day, we didn't get it done and we didn't get a point or three points. Again, disappointing, and we'll look forward to the next game.
Kaye mentioned that New England has to be sharper in training.
“I don’t think that the three weeks is the reason we lacked that attacking prowess that the league is used to seeing,” the midfielder said. “I just think that the new players in right now, we just maybe need to have a little more focus in training on exactly how we’re going to break down teams.”
Luckily for the Revs, they will be able to put their performance in Montreal behind them quickly. New England faces the Red Bulls at home on Wednesday and has a Labor Day weekend match against Austin FC.
But the club won’t be able to rely on the likes of Djordje Petrovic and Bou to bail them out. They need to be sharper in training and need to bring that sharpness to game days if they want to maintain their spot near the top of the Eastern Conference.