James O’Connor arrived in Orlando to be City’s new head coach only 35 days ago, but it seems like he has been the team’s leader for far longer than that.
O’Connor changed the team’s mentality, gained the players’ trust and his philosophy has already showing itself. Players are improving on the field and the team’s offensive performance has risen drastically since his arrival.
After last Saturday’s game against the New England Revolution, O’Connor gave his thoughts on his first month on the job.
“When you look at us as a group, there’s performances where you come away and you think, ‘Okay, we’re starting to show signs of what we want,’” O’Connor said.
While O’Connor has seen positives, he knows there are still problems that need to fixed.
“For me, I’m such a perfectionist that I look at it and I demand so much more of myself,” O’Connor said. “But where we want to get to and where we currently are, we need to do a better job of putting it all together.”
O’Connor knows defense is the key if his team wants to take the next step. City has conceded 10 goals in its last three games.
“We have to stop conceding the goals that we’re conceding. The goals we’re giving are, from our standpoint, they’re really cheap. It’s not like they’re fantastic goals. We need to stop.”
Despite near constant changes in his lineup due to injury and suspensions, there has been one constant for O’Connor in his short time with the Club — the fans.
“I’ve been really pleased with the level of support we’ve had from the supporters. That’s been fantastic. That’s probably been the biggest plus for me,” O’Connor said.
City returns to the field on Sunday at 8 p.m. at D.C. United.