Team manager John Hackworth spoke of the frustration he feels for Union supporters after the club suffered a narrow 1-0 defeat to D.C. United at PPL Park on Thursday.
The club has dominated possession across their last five games – averaging more than 60 percent of play – and have racked up a significantly higher number of attempts on goal than their opponents, however without yielding much-needed victories as the season heads towards a conclusion.
But while Hackworth has seen goals and victories temporarily dry up, he remains convinced the same players behind stunning success in July – where the Union picked up 12 points from an available 15 – have precisely what it takes to get back to winning ways.
“I empathize with our fans,” Hackworth told philadelphiaunion.com. “They deserve to see their team scoring goals and winning games. They’re very passionate so naturally there is disappointment at the moment and that’s perfectly understandable. [The fans are] doing all the right things; we need to get back to playing our part.”
Hackworth masterminded a sensational run of form after taking over in June as his side scored 12 goals in just three home games at the turn of the month, but has seen that form curtailed by an age-old problem.
“We were one of the best teams in MLS in July and we were scoring well. We haven’t had significant changes in personnel since then so we know just how capable we are of doing it, said Hackworth. "Scoring goals consistently is the most elusive thing to every team in this sport at times. It happens to the best teams and best players at all levels. There are always teams and players in any league that can’t buy a goal, then suddenly you get one, hit a run and you’re hot all of a sudden. It’s the nature of soccer. We have to accept that there will be times when it goes our way and times when it doesn’t. We have created plenty of chances and just haven’t executed them, but we know that will change."
Hackworth added that the club still seeks that one player to step up and be the difference maker.
"At the moment, we haven’t found anyone who is going to be the guy that says ‘I’m going to do it’. Every player in that locker room is desperate to make the difference but being anxious and rushing it isn’t the right way. We have to continue to train hard and then find that composure and confidence – and trust our instincts – when we are presented with opportunities.”
The Union are next in action at 4 p.m. Sunday taking on Houston Dynamo at PPL Park (live on 6abc). To secure limited remaining tickets, please call 1877-21-UNION or click here.