MONTREAL -- Confronted with a report that his job as coach of the Montreal Impact is in jeopardy, Mauro Biello said he concentrated on doing his job rather than fretting about rumors Alessandro Nesta will replace him next season.
In the wake of Montreal's 1-0 loss to New York City FC at Stade Saputo on Wednesday night -- a loss that makes a playoff spot unlikely for the Impact -- Biello was asked about the rumor making the rounds after broadcaster Glenn Crooks reported via a tweet sent Tuesday night that a source told him Nesta would take over as Impact coach in 2018.
"It's part of the job," Biello said. "In the end, I can only control what I can do with the team. All those other things are a distraction, but for me I have to concentrate on what I have to. Unfortunately things like that are put out there and there's nothing I can do about that. All I can is try to put the team in the best position to perform."
The loss was the Impact's sixth in seven games, a franchise-worst fourth straight at home. Montreal's skid follows a season-high four-game winning streak that allowed them to climb up from the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings and put them in contention for a return to the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Biello said that the Nesta rumor did not affect his approach to the game.
"To be honest, I don't follow that stuff," said Biello, a Montreal native who guided the Impact to the East Final in his first full season as coach last year. "I don't follow social media and all that stuff. For me, in the end people are always going to talk in this business and say once the team goes bad, for sure it's always the coach. And for sure, I'm responsible for the performance of the team. But in the end, yeah, it's part of it. In the same way, for me, it's important to focus on what I can control and that's trying to prepare the team the best I could."
Montreal goalkeeper Evan Bush said he hadn't heard about the report, and that it was unfair to talk about the Impact needing a coaching change.
"That's going to be the question at any time when a team's doing poorly," Bush said. "But that's not a player's decision to make and I would never wish that upon anybody. So it's on us to produce and perform, and we haven't done that collectively."
The Impact struggled to contain NYCFC on Wednesday and fell in a loss that felt more out of reach than the final 1-0 score made it appear. Biello put the Impact out in a three-back defense with a pair of wingbacks, but changed course to a four-back at halftime after seeing how easily NYCFC were getting in behind the back line.
Although the Impact pushed for an equalizer late, the team looked out of sorts and played like they were already out of playoff contention.
"I don't think that that's a problem," Bush said of the team's tightness as a group. "I don't think that it needs to be like a men's club, you know what I mean, but that being said, if it doesn't translate onto the field as one group and one entity going out there and working together, then that is an issue.
"And for some reason the last couple of weeks it's kind of looked bad. We went on that four-game run and we looked great, we looked like world beaters. And then we slipped up one time and it kind of snowballed from there. So it's hard to a finger on exactly why that is, but I can only speak for myself when I say that the belief has been there for me. And the scoreboard today, with the New York game going back and forth, it was just very frustrating to see, it was another missed opportunity."