Vancouver Whitecaps' Carl Robinson happy with squad rotation after draw at Toronto FC
Carl Robinson had indicated he was keen to use squad rotation this month during a busy spell of games for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
He was true to his word, with both a change of personnel and formation in the 'Caps 1-1 draw at Toronto on Wednesday evening.
Robinson made four changes to the side that lost to Chivas at the weekend and moved to a 4-4-2 diamond formation after favoring a 4-2-3-1 setup in most recent games. The Welsh coach was happy with the end result and the options that may give him in games to come.
"We've got three games in seven days," Robinson told reporters after last night's draw. "I picked the best team that I thought would win this game. I changed the formation to try and counter Toronto. I think we played through them very well at times, not just in the final third, where the end product was missing.
"Depending on which system we go to, it's about having a squad, a flexible squad, that's able to change formations at certain times during games and today that was the right way to do it with an eye to Saturday in mind."
A Saturday matchup with Real Salt Lake now awaits the Whitecaps (10 pm ET, MLS Live).
As pleased as Robinson was with many aspects of his team's performance against Toronto, the Whitecaps once again played a part in their own downfall, conceding a crucial penalty that allowed Toronto back into the game and ultimately a share of the points.
Vancouver have handed their opponents opportunities in numerous games this season. Penalties conceded, sending offs and poor marking in the box have all played key roles in points lost. For Robinson though, those mistakes are part and parcel in the development and learning of his young squad.
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"Disappointing, but as I said all along, we are a work in progress", Robinson said. “We’ve got young players, those are the guys we're working with and they are doing fantastic at the moment. You're going to make mistakes; senior players make mistakes. Today, other players made mistakes, but I’ll take the blame for that.
"I want them to play a certain way and I want to try and win games of football and that’s the balance at the moment where we’re doing it sometimes but not consistent enough.”
The penalty incident last night came at the hands of one of the veterans, with Nigel Reo-Coker bringing down Jackson in the box. It was the second consecutive road game that Reo-Coker has conceded a crucial spot kick, but despite the end consequences, Robinson still found time to find some humor in what had played out.
"It's unlucky isn't it," Robinson said. "It goes through spells. What I will say is that things usually happen in threes, so I'll have to be careful."