Mindful of the suffering of others these Covid-times, Thierry Henry has talked about the strangeness of 2020 and how important it is for his Montreal Impact players to remain focused.
“At least we have games now that we can concentrate on. And yes, a lot is happening in the world. We all know about it. At the end of the day we have a game. We can only concentrate on what we have in front of us.
“And it’s been a weird season, for everybody. Not only football. In life in general, for everyone, it has been weird. If I can put it that way. And so we all have to adapt to the situation.”
The French coach alluded to the difficulties all teams and players are facing as they attempt to keep football running in North America. It’s the new (and hopefully temporary) normal and no-one is exempt.
“Listen, Toronto is adapting. Vancouver had to adapt the other day travelling straight away, coming out of the quarantine. I said it so many times, it must have been difficult for them to do it. Now it’s us playing three days [between games]. It is what it is. You have to adapt to a situation right now. It’s not ideal. But at least we have a game.
“And you know, since we are talking about what’s happening in the world, people are suffering, people have lost family members, lost friends and we’re here talking about playing football, so the least we can do is to try to perform. Sometimes you won’t perform. There’s two teams on the field, you cannot always win, but at least try to go out there and focus on what we have in front of us.”
The Impact players felt they lacked support on their stance of not wanting to play last Friday night in the wake of the last racial cloud to descend over the US. Henry was less dismissive of the issue today than post-match last Friday.
“Apart from them feeling tired from the back to back games and the next one coming. For me myself, what happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room. Of course we talked about it.
“Zach Brault-Guillard came up before the game and talked. So he already said what he had to say. The players talked. We need to move on now. We need to go back to what we can do, play and what has been said has already been said. So the best way to move forward is to think about the game and try to perform.”
Midfield anchor, Victor Wanyama was also on hand to add colour to events surrounding Friday’s controversy.
“It’s just a game, and you know, we are together, the team. We know what we wanted to do, we know what we have to do now.
“We were on our own, but we stood for something that was right and we believe we were right.
“And now [tomorrow evening] it’s just a game, it’s just a derby. We go there and take it as a normal game and to try and play well.”