Pareja: Embarrased for the fans, they deserve more
Colorado Rapids Head Coach Oscar Pareja following the teams 4-1 home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes:
On the result:
"No, not the way we wanted to finish the season in front of the fans. I thought for me it was great to see the fans come for a game that didn’t really matter in the standings but they came to support us and they were behind us. But we didn’t play today. I would say that this group has shown me all the time their heart and hard work in spite of the frustration, but today we didn’t find that. And as a manager I always take the responsibility because it could be the preparation, it could be some mental thing that we could do differently or button we need to push, but it didn’t happen today for sure."
On the effort from the team tonight compared to other losses:
"Today I didn’t see it. Today was different and that’s kind of what frustrated me the most. But as I say, sometimes the players try to do it and it’s a difficult stage for them, you know being out of the playoffs and out of the race sometimes it takes a lot out of you. We played against a good team as well. But that heart, I didn’t see it today."
On if not making the playoffs affected the team performance:
"It's hard for the players, for sure. I don't want to excused them, but it has been a very frustrating week. You knew the playoffs were far, but once you know that you're out, it's difficult. But that needs a lot of heart and professionalism and character and spirit. And certainly today we started flat, and I didn't see that. I didn't see that heart today. Absolutely, the team that we saw today is not what we are."
On the play of the defense:
"We were not sharp today, and I saw it from the first minute. And the confidence was lower today: when you're going to clear the ball, when you're going to connect, when you're going to see how you defend, all those things matter. But for sure defensively today we were not good."
On using younger players and the remaining games:
"It is frustrating sometimes for the players that don't get too much action or playing (time). At this point, you may think the games don't matter. but maybe these are the games that matter most for everyone. We want to show character, we want to show that we want to be here at this club. And I say including the coaches. We all have to be better.
"In a moment like this, when we are frustrated - I feel embarrased today for the fans who came out with this weather and support us and are behind us - I felt the fans deserves much more. The accountability comes from the manager first, and then the players have to be accountable as well. We all have to be.
"The games now matter for many things. You have to respect the Cup and what the fans mean for us."