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Impact Fighting Spirit - Henry Clarifies...

Head coach Thierry Henry defends his team’s ability to fight but says it was missing against the Revs.

CD Olimpia v Montreal Impact: Quarterfinals - Leg 1 - 2020 CONCACAF Champions League
Thierry Henry spoke to the press today and clarified his NE Revs post-game comments regards lack of fighting spirit...
Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

A slightly tetchy Thierry Henry today clarified his comments following the 0-1 defeat to the the New England Revolution in Montreal’s MLS-is-Back opener.

While he did not withdraw his comments around lack of fighting spirit against the New Englanders, he did say he had been speaking specifically about that game and not as a general characteristic of his team.

“The fighting spirit was not in the game that day, but we are a team that will always fight. If you’ve watched all of our games since the start of the season, we’re fighting.

“Since the start of this season, we have always had this fighting spirit, but we did not have it on this match and I hope it is just a small problem.

“It can happen. Hopefully it won’t happen again.”

Considering the coach’s frequent references throughout his short tenure to the fact his team must fight, one had been left to wonder if he’d detected a generic lack of fighting spirit amongst his troops.

Publicly at least, he has denied this, although I suspect there will have been some hard-talking done in the camp over the past few days, following the limp defeat.

The coach is not used to being bottom of the pile and hopes the situation will be remedied soon. “We’re at the bottom of the group, we’re going to try make sure we don’t stay there too long.”

And the Toronto rivalry despite the specific circumstances around this latest edition of the derby is not lost on Henry...

“Today it is a rivalry even if it is played in your garden. It’s the one you don’t want to lose. I’m sure it is the same for Toronto. Wherever you are playing you don’t want to lose it.

“Actually the fact is you don’t want to lose any game. Obviously we already lost one.
We had a good start to the season, I said to you guys calm down. Now that we have lost a game, we also need to calm down.”

The Impact plays against Toronto FC on Thursday evening, kick-off 2000 hrs EST, and really needs to get something from the game, at least a draw. Defeat would not yet mean the end of the line, but it would see Montreal Impact staring at the tournament trap door and potentially and early flight home.

Victory on Thursday night would see Montreal well-placed for a round of 16 spot, ahead of their final group game against DC United. Four points should be enough to guarantee progress from the group.