Veljko Paunovic

QUOTE SHEET | Fire react to road win over Revs

Veljko Paunovic, Chicago Fire Head Coach
Thoughts on the match
“It was very hard, very difficult, and that’s why it’s even bigger. We won in front of a great team. They pushed very hard, they really pushed the game and tried to win, but I think the spirit that we had prevailed at the end. It’s not only that we only defended, but also in some moments, even though that we controlled the ball, we were good and still trying to create some opportunities. That’s maybe something that we missed in the second half, by the end to have another opportunity and push them longer in their half. But in the end, I think combination of these two things, controlling the game and when it’s tough and when we struggle, having the spirit like the guys had today -- that’s the main thing.”

On ending the Revolution’s 11-game unbeaten streak at home
“For me, I can talk about the games since I’m here, and these games were last year. I think we played here three times, two times in the league and once in Open Cup, so we lost all the games. What I can say is we have a different team, this is not the Chicago Fire from the past. We improved, we worked in our offseason, we built our team. We have a great locker room, great spirit, we have fantastic players and guys, champions and winners who want to win and that’s the difference this year.”

On the recent form of Luis Solignac
“Luis is the player that we brought last year, because we saw qualities in him and that he can do what he’s doing right now, playing and performing at this level where he scores goals, where he helps to score, and also helps the team when we’re struggling and we have to defend. So that’s the complete profile that we look for in all the players in every position, and he’s fulfilling that, so he’s one of the guys, together with the other guys, that we have this year who deserve to be here.”

If Bastian Schweinsteiger is where he wants him to be or if there’s room to improve
“I think it’s both. He’s there where we want him to be. I think he’s doing great. I think since a long time ago, his adjustment to the league and to the change that he had is done. It’s completed and now he’s just helping the team win, enjoying playing great soccer and also helping the guys around him to get better and be better.”

Bastian Schweinsteiger, Chicago Fire Midfielder
On the support from fans around the league
“It’s great, the support, not only for me, also for our team, it’s great. I appreciate that a lot. It was a great atmosphere. Obviously, when you win the match, you enjoy it a lot, much more. It’s nice to see when you see also like Bayern Munich jersey, national team, or Manchester United. Hope they will change or swap their jerseys to Chicago Fire jerseys, that would be great.”

On the pressure from the Revolution
“That’s normal, both teams are actually doing that, pressing high or try to press high. It depends how much confidence you have, you know, to play out or sometimes also to play a long ball. You have some ideas to play against teams who are pressing high, so I don’t mind. Actually, some people like it when they press high so we can find the ball in the gaps. As you can see on the first goal, saw those two passes, we created the chance, so that’s alright.”

Matt Polster, Chicago Fire Defender
On giving the Revolution their first home loss of the 2017 season
"I think our main thing was to play our own game plan and that was just to keep the ball. That’s where we’re best at – keep possession, move it side to side. I think that’s how the goal came. We work it around the back, we created overloads, and then Niko made a good run to the line. We exploited good spaces on the field and I think that’s how we won the game tonight."

On Luis Solignac's play
"I think Lucho has a lot of good qualities. He’s good on the ball, he can hold up play, he makes good runs from behind, he creates space for Niko. I think they make a really good tandem right now that creates, like I said, those spaces. Lucho has been on fire, obviously, like you said. He’s created some chances, gotten some goals, and I think it’s only up for him as long as he keeps playing at this level."

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