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A Philadelphia Union blog hosted by Christopher A. Vito and Matthew De George

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Spare thoughts from John Hackworth's April 24 presser

Union manager John Hackworth covered a wide range of topics today, some of which I won't be touching on in copy this week. So just a few odd thoughts from the gaffer.

On the "issue" of possession:
"It’s not an issue with me when we keep winning. I’ve said this many times before but possession is a big stat in this sport, but it means very little. The stat that really means something is what at the end of the day you do with that possession, and I think we’ve been very effective in the way that we’ve possessed the ball. So I don’t mind, especially when you go into a road game and you are planning to give up possession, you set your line differently, you play tactically rather than just try to possess the ball. Those things are by design for us, so we think it’s actually quite effective, and we’re not worried about it at all."

On surrendering goals on relatively few chances:
"I definitely wouldn’t call it bleeding. I think that way that we’re playing, and I would first start by saying that I think our defense is very good. It's not a secret that we have let up goals when we felt like we had better control of the game. We did that twice on Sunday in a really hostile environment against a team that really was playing quite well. I think a lot of that has to do with our opponents some time and that we still need to improve. At the moment, we feel really good about the way we’re defending as a team and as a defensive unit, but we know we need to get better."

On the development of Ray Gaddis into a first-choice left back:
"I’m really happy for Ray. I think any time that you get an opportunity as a player and you literally take advantage of it and play as well as he has in this early part of the season, I think it stays a lot about Ray, I think it says a lot about his teammates and the support he has around him and I hope he can continue it. I know he is the type of player that just gets better and better with those kinds of experiences, so I think that while we’ve seen a lot of great plays by Ray, we will hopefully for a long time see a lot more."

On the defensive options at his disposal:

"I know it may not appear to you that we’re prepared, but we certainly talk through ever possible scenario and we select our 18 on the “what ifs” – What if this injury occurs? What if this red card happens? – so that you’re covered with your 18. I think the way that as a coaching staff and as a team we’re looking at it might be a little different than you guys are. Certainly our hope is that we are consistent and for sure our backline has been a great model of consistency this year so far, and I’m a true believe that that consistency builds relationships that long-term makes our team successful."

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