Following his team’s long-awaited first win in over three months on Saturday night, Toronto FC head coach Ryan Nelsen didn’t even flinch.
This result – which ended an almost suffocating 11-game winless streak for the first-year head coach and his club – was something they deserved all along.
“The performances had been there and we just had not been the getting the end product in points,” Nelsen told MLSsoccer.com after TFC’s 2-1 win over D.C. United RFK Stadium in Washington. “I think it was a really professional performance today, and the players deserved the three points.”
The win was the first on the road this season for the Reds and provided a much-needed psychological boost. TFC went ahead late in the first half and managed to close out the game by shutting down D.C. United after the break, something they’ve struggled with repeatedly this season while sinking toward the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.
“We have to learn how to win at this club,” Nelsen said. “Sometimes it hurts before it gets better. We saw it out very well today. The defenders stepped up when they needed to and the midfielders were brilliant today in controlling the midfield.”
“The players had a lot of confidence (in the final minutes of the game),” he added. “It’s not like they have been nervous at the end of games or anything. They know that their performances have been good and that they are getting better and better and have been improving. Hopefully this kind of a draws a line on what was a little bit of a curse for us.”
Nelsen had maintained an even keel during the team’s recent run of unfortunate results and he was quick to state that his overall approach will not change now that Toronto has snapped one of the league’s longest winless streaks of the season.
“Everybody needs to get better as individuals and as a team,” Nelsen said. “We’ll be working relentlessly to make Toronto FC a consistent winner in this league.”