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August 8, 2011
Soler: Backe will coach the Red Bulls the rest of the season

Erik Soler on Hans Backe: "He does, in my opinion, as good a job as anybody can."
Erik Soler on Hans Backe: "He does, in my opinion, as good a job as anybody can."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
By Michael Lewis Editor

MONTCLAIR, N.J. -- The Red Bulls' playoff prospects might be uncertain at the moment, but general manager and sporting director Erik Soler is sure of one thing: Hans Backe will be the Red Bulls coach the rest of this MLS season.

Soler gave Backe a vote of confidence after the Red Bulls practice at Montclair State University on Monday afternoon.

"Absolutely," Soler said if Backe will direct the team the rest of the season.

"He does, in my opinion, as good a job as anybody can. It's not about Hans or not Hans. This is about the team effort, starting with myself, with Hans, the coaching staff around the team and the players. We have a responsibility within the whole group to turn it around. I think we can."

Coming off a 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on Saturday, the Red Bulls have underachieved this season. Many observers made the Red Bulls favorites to reach MLS Cup, they find themselves tied for third place in the Eastern Conference with a 6-6-12 with the Chicago Fire on tap at Red Bull Arena at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Soler said that Backe's job wasn't on the line. It's everyone's job.

"I think sports are about one thing -- it's about getting results," he said. "Sometimes people have the patience to wait for those results, other times they don't. It's not only about Hans. It's about myself. It's about the rest of the coaching staff. It's about the rest of the structure we have. You can never feel secure in the world of sports when you don't produce the results you should.

"We are still confident when the season is over we can look good. At the moment we don't. So we really have to stick our heads in and be brave and get the players on their toes and make sure that they believe that they can start winning games again. It changes very quickly in sports. So hopefully we can turn it around."

Backe said he hasn't been told by Soler that he will be the coach the rest of the way, regardless what happened.

Besides, he figured that he has been around the block and then some in his coaching career that job security isn't the No. 1 issue for him.

"No, I'm too old for that," he said. "I don't use any energy on that. It would be for me . . . to try to get the team to perform every week as good as possible. But that's always on the job. I don't use any energy on that because I can't do anything about it."

The Red Bulls haven't won in more than a month. They are on a five-game winless streak since a 5-0 trouncing of Toronto FC on July 6.

Asked if Soler has leaned on him to get a win, Backe replied, "I don't think so because I can't analyze the season now. The season has to be analyzed Oct. 20. Then we will know what we have done because itís too early. There are 10 games to go. Perhaps we will get into a good run and everyone will be happy."
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