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NEW YORK RED BULLS

March 4, 2013
SECOND GUESSING HIMSELF
Petke says coaching staff might have made strategy clearer at halftime


Mike Petke: “I just think that we possibly came out with the mindset that we should save the lead instead of keep doing what we were doing in the first half. That falls on the coaching staff first and foremost. Maybe we should have made it clearer."
Mike Petke: “I just think that we possibly came out with the mindset that we should save the lead instead of keep doing what we were doing in the first half. That falls on the coaching staff first and foremost. Maybe we should have made it clearer."
Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Mike Petke thinks the coaching staff might not have gotten the full message across to the Red Bulls in the second half of its 3-3 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday night.

New York took advantage of two Portland defensive errors en route to a 3-1 halftime lead. But the visitors could not hold the lead and allowed the Timbers to attack almost at will.

“I just think that we possibly came out with the mindset that we should save the lead instead of keep doing what we were doing in the first half," Petke said. "That falls on the coaching staff first and foremost. Maybe we should have made it clearer.

"At the end of the day they battled, and there are guys in that locker room that are crushed right now. To see that type of attitude and that sort of letdown after scoring three goals on the road and getting a point on the road, which in MLS is very difficult to do, it’s great to see them pissed off.”

The Timbers equalized on an own goal by Red Bulls central defender Jamison Olave in the 83rd minute.

“I don’t think anybody is happy right now, because we had it, and they scored in the 83rd [minute]," Red Bulls striker Fabian Espindola, who bagged a first-half brace in his Red Bulls' debut. We could have lost too."

It was a game of two halves, with the Red Bulls gaining the first-half advantage and the Timbers owning the second half. They got stronger as the Red Bulls lost their legs as the game went on.

Petke said he was “Very excited, very happy with the way we started the first half. We let an opportunity slip away from us. If you would have asked us a week ago, 10 days ago, if we would like to take a point on the road of the opening game in an environment like this and a good team like this maybe you say yes, maybe you make a deal with the devil and you say yes, but at the end of the day you’re on the road. But possibly we let two (points) slip away.”

Goalkeeper Luis Robles felt the Red Bulls pulled back in the second half and allowed Portland to have its way.

“You can attribute some of that to the Timbers Army, but we played a little deep," he said. "With a two-goal advantage, we wanted to be able to take the game to the end, but unfortunately they dictated most of the second half, and that’s going to make our life a little more difficult.”

Actually, it was a lot more difficult as Darlington Nagbe cut the lead to 3-2, scoring off a rebound in the 56th minute.
 
 
 
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