Following a 3-0 victory over Sporting KC II on Sunday, Head Coach Kenny Bundy spoke to the media about the team's performance, making AVEVA Stadium a fortress, and the performance of young midfielder Brooklyn Raines.
(on the team’s 3-0 victory) "Multiple goals and a clean sheet. It's funny when you talk to people about your game model, every coach has hundreds of slides of how they want their teams to play. From set pieces to build up to pressing. I have brought it down to goals and clean sheets, and I get laughed at all the time because it's like ‘no kidding that should be the goal every time,’ but everything we do and train in leads to getting multiple goals and clean sheets. It is easy to understand, especially when you are up one-nil, two-nil, three-nil. It is about the mentality of keeping a clean sheet so you can fight for a goal throughout the game."
(on his talk to the team at halftime) "If the team ever plays to the standard that we as a staff believe they can play at, then we need to re-evaluate what we are doing because the standard can always be higher and better. We won three-nil, but there are a lot of learning moments in that. It was rough to begin with but I thought there wasn't enough urgency, I thought we controlled the ball and the game but I didn't feel there was enough urgency to score the goal. Marcelo’s (Palomino) free kick was another bit of play where we get an individual that does something special. As a team we deserved to have a goal from the build-up and how we broke the lines. The first message was about urgency and complacency. When you have the ball it is easy to be complacent and in control. But at 0-0, there has to be a mentality to go after, put more pressure on the ball and energy from us. Isaiah (LeFlore) crossed the ball where Kyle (Edwards) headed it pretty deep. The crowd, all 300 people, came alive and this energy about going after it. That has to be something we feed off - it was a nothing play, so we need to figure out how we create from that and really go."
(on the unbeaten streak at AVEVA Stadium) "I like this place. This has turned into something the boys thrive in. It is our home and where our locker room is. Where we train and also win games. We don't put too much emphasis in as to where we are playing, but it is something that the boys have taken pride in. When there is something the team feels, the staff needs to grasp it and you have to go for it. It is important and you have to feel the way the team feels - this is our home and these are our fans. The expectation is three points but also the performance. It is not just the points, we want people to leave AVEVA Stadium and say I want to go come back next weekend."
(on MF Brooklyn Raines’ performance) "He is a baby. He is so young and we don't talk about this a lot but the professionalism that young players have to have in a league like this is massive. A lot of them are coming from different places. When they come here, there is a gap in professionalism but also in staff. To see Brooklyn (Raines) and the way he has grown and is taking in information, we are starting to see he is finding position where he is turning and threatening which is something we want him to do. During halftime I kind of got on him a little, I don't need you to connect, I need you to find positions that turn into threats. Then he is all over the place. Every game he is always in the top four meters ran - that doesn't mean anything unless you are doing with intelligence and we saw massive evolution of how he pressed. Six games ago, he would just run but now he doesn't run when he doesn't need to and is making predictable plays. He is making the other team cause mistakes and we are going to celebrate that goal. The boys aren't going to let that slide - I guarantee you that they are already messing with him. It's funny because it was an underwhelming goal, we didn't know if it was in or not and it was bouncing around. It finally trickles in. He deserves it and all of these guy’s fight. He has been really instrumental for us."