The Forward Press: ATO Look for Answers in Response to York Loss

The Forward Press: ATO Look for Answers in Response to York Loss

ATO travel to ATCO field today with redemption on the mind. Still sitting comfortably first in the league, there has been a dip in form since Atlético Ottawa kicked off the season three months ago now, punctuated by Atletis first loss of the season last weekend. Now with the taste of defeat in collective mouths, Carlos González will be looking for a response. The Spaniard made a number of noteworthy changes last match, including starting Sissoko at right back and dropping Rubén Del Campo to the bench. One would imagine, and certainly hope, both players will be back in the starting lineup at their proper positions come Friday night. Cavalry come into the match having avoided defeat in the last five, although the club has taken seven draws from ten matches this season and will be without a number of top performers due to injury. Carlos González joined the media ahead of the match. Here are all the details:

ATO v The Quotes: Carlos González

On the response to a loss: “I think that the work throughout the week has been great, I haven't felt anything different than in previous weeks when we were winning. I think that although we lose, this is part of the game, and we knew that maybe in some moment, it could arrive. The feelings were not as bad, you know, in the game. So I think that we take the drag out of the game, these feelings that the team is growing.”

On a number of Cavs injuries:  “Calvary is a team that that maintains their identity…The dynamic of cover is good. We know that it doesn't matter the players that play or start in the 11. They always give a very competitive image of a team and they are tough team to win. So I expect the same type of team. Mussi is not there. I don't know if Camargo will be or not, or Akio. But at the end of the day, if not, there were there will be another player that will do it in the same way.”

On the quote “Victory hides what defeat shows”: “At the end of the day, sometimes you're winning and you forget the things that you can do better because the result is taking you to the next step…I think that teams have to lose. It’s necessary to lose games throughout the season so that you can have the capability to react in important moments. We have a very good example this year of Leverkusen, you know, they went to the final of the UEFA Europa League, and they lost there. So at the end of the day, to lose is part of the game.”

On Amer Didic in both boxes: “I think once we signed Amer, we knew that we were growing a lot in the set pieces, and in other parts of our attack that maybe we were lacking in previous seasons. We're happy to have him, we're happy to have our other players that they're also adding in set pieces like Zapater this year, but Amer, as you say, is a top player whose variables give us a lot of solutions in this type of playing. And he has a really hard shot from long distance.”

On the decision between Del Campo and Salter: “I feel that in certain moments of the season that are now it's very important that all of them are alert to create a healthy competitiveness between them…It's so important that the 23 players that we have in this squad are all involved in the team. They all feel part of success on the feet of the team. And I think that this is a critical aspect to create a winner team that we want to be in the future.”

The Takeaway: Amer Didic’s form crucial in both boxes

Two weeks into the CPL season, Atlético Ottawa looked set for a smash and grab against Cavalry FC, however an unfortunate Kris Twardek own-goal stopped the club from emerging with all three points in its second match of the season. On the day, Amer Didic opened the scoring, his second goal for Atleti after netting in preseason, and his first in the league since joining from Pacific. Since that moment –a decisive header –  Amer has consistently been recognized as a threat in the opposition's box, and we saw it again last weekend at York with a striker-esque turn and finish. Though González has labeled the Bosnian as a threat from set pieces, Didic’s corner stats may be hampered by a lack of quality service. Corner deliveries haven’t always impressed, and in the dying moments of the York match, Didic found himself playing level with Rubén Del Campo but could only feed off scraps. Aerially, we know what he has to offer, and this potential needs to be capitalized on up front like it has been at the back. Defensively, Didic has been a mainstay, having only missed one match due to injury thus far in the league. He sits fifth in the league in aerial duels won, second in the league in clearances, and ranks highly in interceptions as well. Only Luke Singh and Alexander Achinioti-Jönsson have recorded more passes. With his experience, Didic boasts the potential to better the back line no matter its other occupants. With team form dipping slightly in the hot months of summer, it will be important that Didic remains an iron giant at the back.

Carlos González will be able to call on all of his familiar faces on Friday night, as only Tissot and Dos Santos miss out. We hope to be able to see all the familiar faces of the CCSG on Friday night, so come join us at our watch party for drinks at the GCP. We hope to see you there!

About Ben

Ben Ralph is a die-hard football fan and a journalism student at Carleton. He has been supporting Everton through the ups and downs (but mostly the downs) and could not believe his luck when he stumbled across Atlético Ottawa in 2021. Now part of the Atleti faithful, his dream has always been to write football stories, and he is excited to join other fans as writers for CCSG. His football journalist idols are Adam Hurrey, James Richardson, and Charlie Eccleshare from The Football Cliches Podcast.

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