The Chicago Fire's eight-game losing skid is wearing on everyone in the Second City, including head coach Veljko Paunovic.
After seeing his side concede Daniel Lovitz's stoppage-time winner in Saturday night's 2-1 loss at the Montreal Impact, Paunovic provided a window into those frustrations, suggesting jobs are on the line.
"It always comes to the same mistakes from the same people," Paunovic told reporters. "Just training and doing preparations doesn’t get better. So we have to make some decisions."
Asked about his club's skid, Paunovic replied: "Stop asking me those questions [about the losing streak]. We’re [expletive] suffering. It’s difficult for us. It’s terrible. It’s [expletive] terrible."
Despite the slide and the growing frustrations of a club now 10 points back of Montreal and the Eastern Conference playoff line, German star Bastian Schweinsteiger backed Paunovic and his staff to lead the club out of their current funk.
“I’m still convinced that especially the coach and his staff they do a great job and the players give their best,” Schweinsteiger said. “We had many injured players which also plays a part in the circumstances."
Saturday's loss was especially difficult considering its stature as a playoff six-pointer, with Chicago missing a chance to chop their playoff deficit down to four points with a victory.
"We can talk about the situation with me and Taider but you can also talk about the whole play until the guy was with me 1-against-1," Schweinsteiger said. "But we came back and this team has good character. We always fight until the end and we came back. But we cannot keep the score [at 1-1] or score the 2-1 for us."
Eventually, the Fire conceded Lovitz' winner. Afterward, Paunovic questioned his team's character.
"I think we lack just self-pride," he said. "I think when we have the last minutes of the game that we really realize when you have a result that’s positive, that’s when you have to put in more. That’s when you have to defend better and not just give up. This [winning] goal is coming from different mistakes. We defended well that corner. But what came before that is the issue. How the corner came. It’s a falling domino and nobody stops the domino so deep until we break down. It’s been the whole season like that."