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Carver urges players to kick it like `blue-collar’ Fulham over next week
April 18, 2009, 2:35 PM
Filed under: John Carver, Toronto FC

Facing their busiest week of the season, Toronto FC coach John Carver is challenging his side to play a more “blue-collar” style.

While confident in the depth of talent, Carver said he has stressed to his players that that’s not enough. They also need to make sure they out-work their opponents.

To illustrate his point, yesterday he showed them a video of last Sunday’s English Premier League game in which Fulham with its “blue-collar players who work hard” went on the road and defeated Manchester City, “who have all the flair and all the big-priced players,” 3-1.

“It shows you can get results by working hard and working for each other and working for a team,” Carver said at BMO Field before TFC (1-1-2) left for a road game tomorrow against FC Dallas (0-3-1).

“That’s what I’ve stressed to our guys,” he said. “We’ve got to get out there Sunday night and work for the team and then let the natural ability that some of our flair players have take its course.”

Dwayne De Rosario, regarded as the best of those flair players, yesterday practised for the first time this week after straining a hamstring in last Saturday’s 1-1 tie with Dallas at BMO Field.

“It feels pretty good right now, so I’m anticipating playing (tomorrow),” De Rosario said after a practice, that, among other things, saw players working on finishing scoring chances in close, a major weakness in last week’s game.

But with it still unclear how De Rosario’s leg will react and starting a stretch of three games in eight nights, Carver said he will take an extra player on the trip to Texas. He said he’ll also be ready to bring others into the lineup if fatigue becomes a factor over the week.

After tomorrow, TFC plays host to Chivas USA next Wednesday and Kansas City on Sunday, April 26.

“It’s three games in a short period of time, but we have to get on with it,” he said. “This is when you have to look at your squad and if I need to rotate it then I’ll do that.”

The key element of that hard work, Carver said, is constantly putting pressure on the ball, especially in the offensive half, because it creates scoring chances. TFC did that particularly well in the opening 30 minutes last Saturday and in their season opener when they went into Kansas City and came away with a 3-2 victory.

“I’ve got faith in my forwards,” Carver said in response to criticism that they have not done a good job of converting scoring chances. “They just need a little stroke of luck in front of goal.”

De Rosario, who scored his first goal in a TFC jersey last week, said the players know their best chances this season have come when they put pressure on the other team “and put them back on their heels.”

Source: Click Here

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