- Posted: 2:19 AM, March 15, 2012
“It reminded me of last year: Two mistakes, two goals,’’ Henry said after yesterday’s practice. “That was the difference between the two teams. We have to stop that or we’re going to have the same season again.”
It wasn’t a season the Red Bulls care to remember, but last weekend’s defeat in Dallas couldn’t help by jog unpleasant memories. Not after they gave away one goal on a pair of failed clearances, and gifted the other on a bad backpass. Where have we heard that before?
“It’s not the first time. With (coach Hans Backe) the other day, we counted at least 19 goals that we conceded like that since we’ve been here,’’ said Henry. “Still, that can be avoided. It’s not like they outplayed us on the two goals; they were definitely two mistakes. It does happen: I do mistakes, everybody does. But we have to correct that.”
Also galling Henry was the Red Bulls’ unwillingness – or inability – to follow through on Backe’s pregame plans and stick to their strategy. He’s always tended to drift back into midfield for the ball on occasion, but he doesn’t want to do it as often or as deep as he was forced to against Dallas. And it’s something he hopes to have fixed before Saturday’s tilt at Real Salt Lake.
“We do talk about something at the beginning of the game that we’re going to play and we don’t, so it is frustrating,” said Henry. “I don’t like to come down and ask for the ball. I’d rather stay up front and make the run behind the defense. But sometimes you’ve got to do what the game is asking you to do and I had to drop.
“We’ve got to stick to the plan. The boss put a plan at the beginning of the game and we’ve got to stick to it. But we didn’t....If we carry on going away from (the plan), not trying to play, and give up easy goals, you can do whatever you want: It’s going to be the same season.’’
Backe confirmed that the game was forcing Henry to have to drop back much deeper to get the ball than the original gameplan called for.
“I think it’s only a couple of games that Thierry drops that deep. Normally he’s around the halfway line,’’ Backe told the Post. “Of course it means the other guy would be a little bit isolated if we can’t get a midfielder to join the striker.’’
*** In other news, Backe added that defender Wilman Conde was hopeful of returning to practice on Monday. If the big Colombian centerback can train all of next week, Backe felt he "would be in contention to start" the home opener.
Backe also said he hoped the Red Bulls would get a decision on striker Luke Rodgers' visa appeal by the end of the week.