Colorado Rapids head coach Oscar Pareja's post-game comments following a 2-1 win over Swansea City of the English Premier Leauge in a friendly exhibition:
On getting an early lead and winning the match:
"It’s healthy for everyone. The message in the locker room before they left to the field was: let’s enjoy the game. Let’s enjoy it. Let’s do that. Let’s take all the pressure that we have been carrying for these months, and let’s leave it in the locker room and let’s enjoy the game. And then it was good, it was fantastic to see the two goals, great goals. To see the joy that the guys had on the field – we’ll build on that. We’ll continue building, for sure."
On the team’s attitude tonight:
"The last two weeks have been very difficult for the club, [and] for us with the results, with the traveling, and everybody just puts pressure on [themselves]. It’s normal. So sometimes we are too focused on getting the job done, and getting things done, and we forget about enjoying the game. Sometimes the message has to continue that way, because if you enjoy it, if you play with joy, that way you can perform better."
On the team’s effort recently:
"We have been working hard to get results and unfortunately in the league we have not been able to get them, but for sure today was one of those days when you can breathe and then say, “you know what, we’ve got to keep pushing, and things are going to come our way.”
On recent lineup changes:
"As coaches, when you don’t get results, our job is to get some answers. We have had challenges during the season with players that are hurt, with players that are coming back from injuries but they’re not ready, because we all want to see them [make] a full recovery and that’s not magical, it has a process. At the same time, let’s say today, it’s a great opportunity for me to see players that I have not seen much, and it has been great. There’s players that could help us. We’re going to try to get that consistency with the lineup because I think everybody needs it. I need it, the players need it. Once we find it, I think we’ll continue, but at this point it has been a building process, and as I say, it has been a challenge with many things, but today I saw positive things. Many, many – as in Salt Lake, I saw in Salt Lake many [positive] things as well."
On the play of local players Shane O’Neill and Davy Armstrong:
"We believe in them, and that’s why we signed Shane [O’Neill], and I came here and Davy [Armstrong] is progressing a lot this year. For me, it’s great and healthy to see the young guys come and step up today on the field. Tonight I go home thinking, you know what, we have a lot of good things, and the team has good players."
On if Kamani Hill stepped up:
"He did. Kamani’s getting back again to his level. Not just Kamani, Jamie [Smith], today he played 90 minutes, it’s healthy for the group. Seeing Joseph Nane, I thought he performed very well in Salt Lake. These guys are growing. I have to accept that – sometimes I miss things. I don’t have any arrogance [about] accepting it, sometimes you miss things with them, because this is coming so quick. I say to them, your job is to prove me wrong. All the time. And I would not doubt to accept it, if I see players that are stepping up and I say, you know what, you have to play. It’s a good moment for us, for sure."