Despite first loss, Berhalter not jumping to wholesale changes
Days after the Columbus Crew's first loss under head coach Gregg Berhalter, the Crew boss isn't ready to push the panic button yet. But is he willing to admit that it was good for the young club to get a loss after a 3-0-0 start? Not quite.
“No, you never need a loss,” he told reporters after Crew training. “We always want to win. I honestly believe it's better to learn from wins. I'm disappointed with the loss.”
The poor showing, he said, doesn't “necessarily” mean that wholesale lineup changes will be coming.
“We look at performance for shuffling the lineup,” he said. “We're looking to see where the guys are at with their performance every week, and that's how we make those decisions.”
But Berhalter agreed that the “complacent” effort his team gave may result in changing things, though it hasn't been decided yet.
“There are two ways of looking at it,” he said. “The first way is saying, this group that began, show us that it's going to be different. Show us that you've learned from this. The other way is, that wasn't good enough, and we've got to make some changes. And we have yet to determine how we're going to go.”
It seems likely that a week of hard work will determine who stays in the starting XI when the Crew travels to San Jose Sunday, and Berhalter said the team talked about refocusing and staying intent on each game, both from the perspective of the players and coaches.
“The build up of the game, from our side, maybe we were too calm going into the game, maybe we could have gotten the guys up for a game like that,” he said. “We learned a good lesson. There's times you feel you can really push the group, and there's times when you let the group take control. I think we could have pushed them more [that] game, knowing what we know now.”
Despite this week marking the first time the club has dealt with defeat under Berhalter, he said he expects the players' mentality to stay consistent, and expects a “similar” reaction for a team that he has consistently cautioned is a young and still improving side.
“We want to keep improving,” he said. “We've been really honest with you guys in terms of where our team is and where our group is, and we're going to continue to be. We want to keep building and keep improving.”