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O'Connor hails effort and willingness to learn against Richmond

By LouCity, 04/15/18, 8:00AM EDT


Head coach James O'Connor addressed the media after LouCity's 2-1 comeback win over Richmond Kickers on Saturday night.
Read what the boss had to say when reflecting on the team's performance:

On the team's performance in the second half:
“Excellent. I thought we were really unfortunate to be losing, to be honest. First half we were in complete control under attack. Kyle (Smith) unfortunately slips on the turf but has a really good finish, skips up off the turf. It was a very good play and very good goal. In the first half, I feel like we were counted there. We had some chances first half not to get one there, but the players showed tremendous belief. Second half- all in all, I think we put a good performance forward and I felt we deserved the three points.”


On his halftime message to the team:
“Yeah, I mean staying patient. And I think composure. But also just trying to capitalize on areas that I think we could do better in. I think we were back in it in the second half. Again, immensely proud of their efforts and their desire to keep going and keep going and keep going and not just accept when the first goal goes in, but there’s even more drive to try and go on and win the game. Great credit to the guys to come on and win the game. It’s great to see guys come out and do that. And it shows how together this group is.”


On setting the best start in club history:
“I think the togetherness, the character of the guys. I think their work rate. All in all, when you look at what the lads have had to get through- we’ve had the training grounds being flooded, so to actually wanting to go out and play I can’t speak highly enough about the players. And really I think they deserve enormous credit for the way they’ve conducted themselves and how they perform.”

On positional versatility within his squad:
“I think it’s important. I think for us to have that type of football brain and be that intelligent, but we have to be cultural. The guys, they’re immensely proud of what they do. They have great togetherness. But their will to win and their desire for growth is probably the most impressive thing. You’ve got 20 players in there desperate to get better, which is really important for me as a coach because I’m also desperate to get better. So to get that kind of growth and that kind of mentality, that’s really important.”


On the return of Brian Ownby:
“Yeah, Brian’s (Ownby) had to be patient. He’s had to manage Brian even this week, he’s got an issue with his groin, strains to the hamstrings. We’ve obviously got to try and manage the guys. We’ve done that since the preseason, just being patient. He’s only played 45 minutes in the preseason. You still have to try and manage Brian (Ownby), and use our experience that he naturally just wants to go and start here again and play because he’s desperate to be successful. He’s someone who again makes an impact whether he starts or whether he comes on, he’s got tremendous pace. I thought he went on and did a great job for us. George (Davis IV) also made a big impact. He helped us, slipped George in. I think the intensity that we got from the players really helped drive the team. It was important for us.”

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