nemanja nikolic goal vancouver

Quote Sheet | Chicago Fire 1:1 Vancouver Whitecaps

QUOTE SHEET
Chicago Fire 1:1 Vancouver Whitecaps
RECAP

Chicago Fire Head Coach Veljko Paunović
On the team’s performances in its first four home games…
“I think, first of all, I want to thank our fans who came today with this terrible weather to support the team. They are very important for us and the team played also for them. I also think that we had a very good game. I think we dominated absolutely, especially in the first-half, especially with the control of the result. I think we read very well how the opponent is going to play and what they were doing. We created opportunities. We just weren’t sharp with that. Definitely we are not happy with the result today. But the team also is currently improving in form. It's doing very well. We fought back after we conceded a goal. An unfortunate goal. It happens in this game and we have to be ready for that and I think we had a good reaction. I think we came back. We tied. We also created opportunities. The game ends in the box of our opponent. Until the last second, I think we pushed. So that will be the recap of the game and the performance of my players and I think that I'm really proud because I saw the team fight. The team that plays the way we plan and prepare and the team that is capable of reacting, never giving up and with all that I'm very, very confident. I truly believe in my group. I believe in all these guys and I'm sure that very soon we're going to come back on a winning streak which is something that we are looking for. Our current form is still not where we want to be. Definitely, I think we're going to get there. I think if we just keep playing this way, being smart, and obviously minimizing, or eradicating, the defensive mistakes we can be successful and right now we are not happy where we are but we're confident.”

On what’s missing in the final third…
“I think we cannot say that it's just the game like today. You missed your opportunities. We have a lot of pieces in attack. The guys are creating a lot of opportunities, a lot of shots on goal, finishing actions. It's just the precision. We lack the precision in the final pass to maybe be a little bit more cooked, prepared. I think that's something that we may miss now. But definitely today was, I think the mindset of the guys was very, very sharp, and we just miss a little bit more of completing the full sequence of the passes that we had with the ultimate final pass. I think that’s what we missed.”

On Nico Gaitan's performance…
“I think he’s also, as the team, looking for his best form. I think he had actually very good games the whole season. I think he performed very well. I think he's looking for that goal also to score. He, as I was saying in Spanish, like the rest of our strikers … they rush in finishing the opportunities or situations where we can finalize with a shot or the final pass. So, it's just because we want to win. We want to score goals and we create those opportunities and we want to make it happen right now and that happens. He's looking for that goal that will boost his confidence and the confidence of the team. But generally he's doing well. I think he still needs to get to his best form, not only getting sharper but also fitness wise but I think he's progressing very well.” 

Chicago Fire Forward Nemanja Nikolić
On today’s performance…
“We were the better team today, for sure. I think we deserved more than this one point. From the first minute of the game, we wanted to push and make pressure on their backline with our players up front. I think we had a lot of shots in the first half. We create opportunities. I don’t think they have many chances to score in the whole game. We really push a lot. It was an important game for us. We wanted three points from today. I think overall if you see the whole game we left two points on the field. Again, we showed character. After the goal, we push, we don’t give up. We fight until the last second. I think this is the way we need to play. We need to appreciate every single point. If you see the overall picture on the field, we deserved more, we deserved the victory. They came here to defend with ten players. This is what they do all game and they wait for counterattacks and for our mistakes. It’s difficult to play like this but overall I say I’m proud of the team and we need to push forward and collect points. 

On one win in four home games…
“We need to collect points at home for sure and we will for sure. We just need to keep doing and these things will turn. We just need to work for that. If you see the games that we’ve played you can see a difference from the last year. So every single game we never give up. We push until the end. We have a lot of good games also at home against Orlando for example. Against Seattle we didn’t come into the game good, the first 10 minutes weren’t good. But also, again we don’t give up, we came back into the game. This is the way that we want to play. We want to collect points and we will.” 

On getting more goals…
“Score more goals. Goals. Goals. Of course, it’s on me. I will take responsibility for that. I’m the guy who needs to score goals and it’s on me. I just need to be sharper, better in that and similar to the team I deserve more goals in the five games I’ve played in. I think it’s just one reason, the team and I need to work hard, to believe in ourselves, to stick together and to turn this situation because I feel power in this group that we can turn this situation. Also, today we didn’t lose so that’s a positive thing. That’s how we need to think, to always see the light and to build on that. Who saw this game, they saw a team who wants to push and wants to create chances, who want to score goals, and also a team (Vancouver) who are just defending. Of course, congrats to Vancouver for that one point. They came here to bring points home so congrats to them. Also, congrats to my teammates, to my team. We believed until the last second and in the last minute of the game we had a big opportunity to score and turn this game again. I think, overall, we played a good game.” 

David Ousted, Chicago Fire Goalkeeper 
On Vancouver’s goal…
“I made a mistake, simple as that. I told the guys when I got in the locker room that I apologize for putting us in that hole and that was a mistake from my side. It hurts especially in a game like this where we needed three points and I think we had the majority of the chances, but that’s the nature of the position.” 

On the team’s performances in their four home games…
“No, we’d like to see more points. But we’re still in the process here of building this team and I think, like a lot of the guys, I feel in here that we’ve got a team going forward that can be very strong. But we obviously need to put points on the board and that’s what we’re looking for. But it’s about getting onto the next game, getting onto the next job and that’s Colorado at home.” 

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