It’s been a rough start to the season for Atlanta United 2. They’re winless since their inaugural game in late March and are currently on a four-match losing streak. However, it’s always been stressed by Atlanta United personnel like president Darren Eales and ATL UTD 2 head coach Scott Donnelly that it’s not all about results for this team. On Tuesday morning, Donnelly emphasized the sentiment and said that he has found bright spots in his team’s performance up to this point.
“I think up until Ottawa, the performances were actually pretty good. One of the silver linings is that we continue to dominate the ball and dominate possession. Now, turning that into goals and covering ourselves when we make a mistake or give it away is also really important. It’s good that we’ve dominated the ball against good teams, but we want to turn that into more meaningful things. Sometimes that means goals and sometimes it means quality chances. It really just depends on which game you’re talking about. However, for such a young team to consistently dictate the game in possession, that’s a great thing...We want to play aggressive soccer.”
Oliver Shannon believes the team is getting closer and closer to finding their form.
“I think before last Saturday’s game, there were a lot of positives. We were pressing better and we were starting to get combinations in and around the box...Saturday was poor all around, but we want to get that out of our heads and try to get back to some of the things that we were doing, try to put it together for 90 minutes, and get a result.”
Donnelly insists that the team will not deviate from the philosophy and tactical expectations of the club. The players have bought into the process, and that’s showing through their efforts.
“For us, the challenge is two-fold. It’s not just to perform well in games and win. It’s to play a certain style. We won’t change from that. Sometimes that means bumps on the road, but there’s some pride there in this club that that’s what we’re going to do. That’s why a lot of our players are here. That’s what they want. It’s good for development of all the players because a lot of these guys will have long careers. It’s not necessarily just about three points on the weekend. It’s about building a club’s style. In some ways, we’re answering to a bigger challenge than some clubs who are just playing for points.”