Before we get to the current state of the Reign, an update for all you Bud Holloway fans out there … he has a new blog up on the Manchester Monarchs’ Web site. “Jersey Shore” is mentioned. So is the movie “Avatar.”
Anyway, here are a few notes and quotes left over from Wednesday’s practice that did not make my notebook today …
Karl Taylor was cautiously optimistic about the two-game winning streak but warned against slacking off this weekend, when the Reign will play three games in three days.
“We’re pleased with our last two games but we’re nowhere near where we need to be record-wise or how we’re playing,” he said. “We’re making little strides. We have to realize that we have to continue to play a certain way or else we need to be successful. The credit for the last two games has to go to the players. They’re taking more ownership in their — the 5 percent we were missing, they’re now giving. It’s their job to bring that every day. They got sick and tired of not bringing it. We have to play like that every single game or it will be a short-lived win streak.”
Again, Taylor was very quick to deflect credit for the team’s turnaround to the players, as opposed to any lineup moves that he might have made. But he was also complimentary of Greg Poss, the assistant coach who joined the Reign two weeks ago.
“I think it’s been really, really good for me, and my growth as a coach, to speak with someone and discuss issues, just to have another voice so the players don’t just hear me all the time,” Taylor said. “Our players are really well-trained, very dedicated. They listen with intent. So there’s lots of reallly good habits, but when they can hear a fresh voice it makes it a lot easier. It’s more refreshing for them and for me to have someone to bounce things off of, it’s really good.”
On the injury front, Taylor said that winger Chris Curran is day-to-day with a “lower body” ailment.
Here’s what Taylor had to say about Mike Zacharias, who has rarely played behind Curtis Darling but responded with a win in a rare start Saturday …
“It’s really important for Mike and his development. He’s really had a very weird season. I picked him out of camp to be our first-game starter. I thought he earned it over Curtis. First game, he played well, we just were overwhelmed by Bakersfield and lost 5-0. He’s had some tough moments this season and is trying to rebuild his confidence. Getting the win on Saturday, I was really, really excited for him. He’s been working hard in practice. There’s areas in his game he wants to clean up. Curtis has played outstnding for us. If we could have supported his performances scoring-wise, his win-loss record would be outstanding right now. He’s played really well for us. Mike’s had to wait patiently, which is hard to do, but he’s been a consummate teammate, pushing hard to make sure CuDa doesn’t get comfortable.”