While Remi Garde acknowledges his team’s poor run of form, he also says “there’s reason to be positive.”
“We are still in the race,” the Impact coach said in a conference call Tuesday morning.
Garde said “there’s character inside this group,” which was showcased during Nacho Piatti’s long injury layoff.
“I think that we have not been very lucky since the beginning of the season with Nacho injured for a long, long time and I think despite these problems we coped quite well,” he said.
The club will have have to again do without Piatti, at least in the short term, after the Argentine suffered an adductor injury shortly after subbing on in Saturday’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago Fire. Garde said Piatti will be sidelined as least for two games and didn’t travel to Calgary ahead of the second leg Canadian Championship semifinal clash against Calvary FC on Wednesday (9:30 PM ET | OneSoccer.ca).
“The last game at Chicago, I think honestly we didn’t deserve not to get a point in that game,” Garde said. “If you look at all the substitutes and the second half we had, unfortunately we finished the game with 10 players, because Nacho got injured quite quickly after he came on the field.”
Recently-acquired Bojan Krkic made his Impact debut against the Fire, registering a pair of shots in his 27-minute shift. Garde said the Spanish midfielder, 28, is acclimating well to his new environment after being with Stoke City.
“There’s no problem with the language … He’s a guy who has a lot of experience in different clubs and he’s a gentleman, you know?” Garde said. “He’s a guy who is very nice and I think everybody already loves him.”
The transition wasn’t quite as seamless for Omar Browne, the Panamanian winger who recalled from his season-long loan from C.A. Independiente Monday after just 10 appearances. Browne had two goals and two assists for Montreal.
“Sometimes things are not going in the right way for reasons I don’t want to delve into too much,” Garde said. “I think he was quite upset. We knew sometimes to settle into a new environment could be too difficult for the player. I think it was the best solution to end like this.”
The Impact are in the midst of a critical stretch that could make or break their season, starting with their continued Canadian Championship campaign Wednesday. They then have a home match at FC Dallas on Saturday (7:30 PM ET | TVAS, MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US), with just seven league tilts to follow.
“I want to win the next one. My priority is to put the best team I can put on the field for the next one,” Garde said. “Saying that, I have to respect the Canadian [Championship] rules, which means I have to start three Canadian players.”