Winter still talking playoffs for TFC despite poor start

TORONTO – Despite six straight losses to open the season, Aron Winter is still talking playoffs for Toronto FC.

“It's very important to get the first points and the moment we get the first points everything is going to turn,” the Reds head coach and technical director told reporters after training Tuesday at BMO Field. “And I believe in it. We're going to fix it.”

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And he feels that he will be given time to make whatever repairs are necessary. Winter referred to meetings he had with ownership slightly more than a week ago, saying “The confidence and the support are there."

Nonetheless, Toronto have equalled the second worst start in MLS history held by D.C. United in 2001. The worst start was 0-7-0 by Kansas City in 1999.

The Reds will try to avoid that when they visit Real Salt Lake on Saturday. If they don't, Winter's seat could start to get hot.

“I’m not a guy who is going to panic or get panicky,” the former Dutch international said. “I want the guys to get results and we’re going to turn around. It’s not a nice situation at this moment.

“The most important thing is to keep everybody together, committed to each other and we have to work hard and that is what we’re doing at this moment. It’s going to change, I don’t know when.”

Changes are possible, he said, but not like last year’s mid-season makeover. Now that the overhaul has been completed, he feels it is important to maintain continuity.

“Of course, you should always make one or two changes if you’re in a situation like now, when you have bad luck and things are not working out,” he said. “But you also need consistency to also give the players confidence.” 

Whatever adjustments might be made, he said he still believes in the 4-3-3 formation he has utilized for much of his time in charge.

“Maybe you have to play different but my vision with three strikers and 4-3-3 is going to stay always,” he said.

One thing that he would like to see return is better communication among players on the pitch, especially from more experienced players in helping or coaching the younger players. He said that it was happening during the CCL matches but “at a certain moment it slipped away.”

Now Winter hopes to correct things before the season slips away.