The saying goes that words fly and writings remain, but the comments shared by Samuel Piette on Saturday evening remained long enough to create a small storm.
“I’m coming to talk to you about the temperature, it’s starting to get cold. The golf season… the end is approaching,” joked the CF Montreal captain on Tuesday after training at the Nutrilait Center.
Initially, it wasn’t Piette who was supposed to come speak to reporters, but after his rather scathing criticism of his team’s performance – and his own – in a 4-1 loss in Atlanta, he chose not to shy away and take stock of the situation.
Visibly shaken and disappointed with the final result on Saturday, Piette claimed that the Bleu-blanc-noir had not been well prepared tactically to face Atlanta United and that he and his teammates seemed lost on the pitch. Many saw this as a jab at head coach Hernan Losada and his staff.
Piette said he spoke with Losada about his comments and the two were on the same page, but the way he delivered the message may have been awkward.
“I think we both agreed that my comments were honest about that match. As I said, some players performed less well, me first. Hernan was okay with that. It’s certain that losing a match like this, in the middle of the race for the playoffs, there is perhaps more pressure and the emotions are more intense. Could I have had a discussion with the coach before making these comments? Possibly,” noted the Quebec midfielder.
With four games remaining in the season, tension is growing on the CF Montreal side. The team is desperately clinging to eighth place in the Eastern Association and the carpet is slowly starting to slide while other clubs are breathing down their necks.
Sometimes, this type of outing allows the team to refocus on the task at hand and prepare to raise the level of play for the final stretch. This was perhaps not the objective desired by Piette at first glance, but if it can help right the boat, Montrealers will not complain.
“Can this “wake us up” for these four big matches? Maybe. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In a defeat like this, it opens your eyes to what you need to improve and what you need to work on. Afterwards, we have to be careful not to divide the locker room and not to divide the coaching staff with the players. The comments seemed intense, but we all realized that we had not been good on Saturday,” expressed Piette.
The captain also wanted to clarify that his comments, as virulent as they were, only represented his frustration at the moment and not concerning the club’s difficult streak of five games without a victory.
“It was really about that game and not about the whole season. I look at our team, we are eighth in the East, the matches at Saputo stadium are often played with a full house. I think we’re doing good things. Maybe it gave the impression that we’re not doing anything good, but that’s not the case,” Piette said.
Forward Jules-Anthony Vilsaint was back in training with the squad after recovering from an ankle injury. Defender Aaron Herrera (ankle) trained alone while defender Robert Thorkelsson (adductors) was absent.