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Cummins promises attacking football
May 1, 2009, 7:56 AM
Filed under: Chris Cummins, Toronto FC

John Carver brought Chris Cummins in to be his lead assistant with Toronto FC last May. So there is a temptation to paint Cummins, Carver’s replacement as the head coach of the club, as Carver 2.0.

On the day he was officially named as the club’s interim boss, Cummins said at least one thing to dispel that notion. He swears he will not allow Major League Soccer’s officiating get to him.

“Things like that don’t bother me. I’m quite laid back,” the 37-year-old Cummins said at a news conference yesterday at BMO Field. “You’re going to get poor decisions. You’re going to get things you’re unhappy with. But I think throughout the season, it swings and roundabouts. I think you get as many good ones as you do bad ones.”

Cummins, however, seems committed to continuing the manner in which Carver began the season. Carver resigned his post on Saturday because of his frustration with the league and its officiating. After leading TFC to a win on Sunday as the unofficial interim coach, Cummins got his official due yesterday.

Nick Dasovic, also an assistant under Carver, will serve as Cummins’ lead assistant. After the win on Sunday, the club’s director of soccer, Mo Johnston, suggested it was possible Dasovic would get the head job. But it sounds like Cummins was the man for the job all along.

“When you break it all down, within the locker room and the respect factor, it was an easy decision,” Johnston said.

“Obviously when [Carver] left, Chris took the team right off the bat,” Dasovic, a Vancouver native, added. “If you were present in the locker room before the game for the pregame talks he gave and how he got the team motivated, to me, it was a decision that already was made.”

Both Johnston and Cummins, who coached for 15 years in England before coming over to Toronto, lauded Carver’s style with the team. Cummins said his predecessor’s willingness to allow his assistants to implement their own ideas allowed him to blossom as a coach.

Still, there could be a few technical changes. While Carver favoured a formation that featured four defenders, four midfielders and two forwards, Cummins said he prefers to play four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards. That look was successful for TFC in two straight wins last week that vaulted the club into first place in the Eastern Division.

“What you’ll see is a team that is going to play attacking football,” Cummins said. “There’s going to be a freedom to play, to get the ball down [the field], to pass the ball, and to put on a show as well as get the result. That doesn’t mean we’re going to be taking unnecessary risks, playing out in the back and causing ourselves problems.”

Cummins will be given the chance to implement his style.

“I’ve told these guys, ‘Don’t look over your shoulder. Just keep doing the job you’re doing and let’s get on with it,”‘ Johnston said as he looked at his coaching staff. “I’m not looking at anyone else.”

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