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Pauno Chat: “We are far from the team we were”

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The Fire head coach discusses the 2-2 draw with Portland and foreshadows some tough times ahead

Some choice quotes from Chicago Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic’s postgame press conference (video above):

On the fans: “Thank you to our fans for coming. Especially after two not good performances, it was very helpful to see them coming and supporting the team. In a game where we struggled and where we had to fight back from a negative score, they are exceptional and great.”

On current form: “We have a good team but we are still not in the shape that this team used to play and that we showed in the past. The past is behind and what we have to do now is fix what we have in front of us. That’s a difficult situation in terms of lack of confidence, lack of precision, lack of clarity sometimes in ideas. But I promise that we’ll fix this.”

On Basti’s playing position: “After we switched to a different formation when Basti dropped into the defensive line with three in the back, the boys did a fantastic job. Organizing, giving proper instructions to our boys, and from that moment except for the opportunities we conceded... I think we didn’t have bigger issues in the game.”

On why the team is struggling so much: “I think we switched some players, some left, some new players came here, what needs to be fixed is, the defensive performance is very poor. Our past is behind us, what we did in the past, the performances we had, they are not the present. We have to understand that if we don’t have the right defensive attitude, if we don’t help each other... we’ll need to make some difficult decisions.”

A warning for fans: “Get ready and prepare for a tough couple of months. Because we are far from the team we were, it’s gonna take some time to fix it and we have to stick together.”