Veljko Paunovic

Postmatch Quotes: Paunovic, Cleveland react to loss at NYCFC

Veljko Paunovic - Head Coach, Chicago Fire
On the match:
"Obviously everyone tries to make adjustments at halftime and they did so in this occasion, and it worked better for them. We had a decent game in the first half. We were a good opponent and we also had our opportunities. And on the other side, the second half, we didn't start as well as we wanted. We crumbled and we wanted an opportunity to perform well. Our goal today was to definitely get points here. We had our game plan. After the second goal we tried to score at least one and come back in the game. We made some changes, but it didn't work. Two teams on opposite sides. One clinching the playoffs, the other one staying outside. It's been tough for us to accept that today but it is what it is, so we will move forward and will play the next games, always trying our best, always trying to win and do our best in every single game."

If NYCFC were a different team from the previous meeting in June:
"I think NYCFC had much more confidence here. I think that's the same with every team in the league when they play at home. The other difference is that David Villa is back. The other game he did not play so that makes things much more difficult for every team. But to be honest, I didn't feel like we couldn't achieve, create opportunities or get to the right spots to have occasions to score so it was good. First half was okay. The second half was unfortunate, both goals were unfortunate, and without taking credit from NYC's performance, but it's obvious that we could have done better."

Stefan Cleveland - Goalkeeper, Chicago Fire
On the difference between the first half and the second half:
"I think we started the second half with a bad mistake. It always hurts when you give the other team a goal and then trying to play catch up from there is never easy. Especially away here at Yankee Stadium against a very good New York City team."

On starting MLS games:
"I have done this one thousand times in my head before but actually being here, being on the field when the whistle blows, it's different. I'm getting more comfortable, getting more confident. The guys are helping me out a lot. I couldn't ask for a better group of guys in front of me to help me out with my confidence."