HOUSTON - AUGUST 14: Midfielder Jack Jewsbury #13 of the Portland Timbers scores in the 56th minute against the Houston Dynamo at Robertson Stadium on August 14, 2011 in Houston, Texas. Houston won 2-1. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
On the Timbers’ final three games
We realize [that] we have got to get some results, no matter what happens. Obviously you watch around the league what is going on and keep an eye on that stuff, but at the end of the day our focus has got be on the way we come back.
More quotes from Captain Jack plus defender Mike Chabala after the jump.
I think there’s going to be pressure on this week leading up to the Houston game no matter what. We feel like we’ve definitely got to take care of our home game here and get three points. Then [we] go on the road [with] two tough matches in two tough places to play in [D.C. United] and [Real Salt Lake] and get a result there to really put some pressure on some other teams going into that final game.
I don’t know if I would say that all three are must wins. I’d say the first one, we’ve got to worry about that one before we can talk about winning all three. Houston is a tough team and well coached and a team that has been around together for quite a while. It’s going to be a tough one. I think our focus has got to be on that one. Once we take care of business there then we can move on to the next ones.
On the bye week
We have got a good weekend here to rest and get ourselves ready for the final stretch, which is going to be crucial for making that push to the playoffs.
I think it is important this weekend to take off but also make sure you are taking care of yourself. If you have to get treatment, get in here. Everyone is banged up pretty good. If you have some nicks, get in here.
Make sure you put the right things in your body so you can be your best for this last week, because the reality of it is that we have three games in eight days that are going to define this whole season and I think guys realize the importance of it whether they have been around nine or ten years or if this is their first year in the league. It has been a theme of ours, this past month, be as good as you can be in every aspect of what you do. I think that is the main focus right now.
On the team’s mindset
I think we’ve had that playoff mindset for the last couple games where we felt like certain games were must-wins or they were crucial match-ups where six point swings could happen. They are fun. When the weather turns like this you know it is about playoff time and everything comes down to the line. It’s fun to be a part of.
I think we are excited to be where we are at. A lot of people probably wouldn’t have thought we would be here but we believed in ourselves the whole year. This group had a never [say] die attitude and that is where we are at right now.
On his mindset going into the game against Houston
Payback. Some type of justice. I thought we didn’t get as much out of the game as we could have. We had some chances at the end there, but they are the team in front of us.
Say what you will about my time there [and] the departure, bitter or sweet, you know it is a team we have to beat. I think it was a bit of a shock for myself; stepping into that game, being back there. That nostalgic feeling was like, wait, orange, is that my team? It was a bit off for me for the first couple minutes until I realized, hey, I’m on the other team now. I can’t be with these guys that I’ve been with for six years and they came out with a very professional attitude. It was smiles and shaking hands and stuff but not this time. This is a must win game for us and say what you will, but there are three games left and everybody knows where we are on the table and this game is massively important for the club.
On the bye week
We worked really hard today. We worked really hard yesterday. We have the weekend off, which I think is good just to get the guys to clear their heads. I think at this point of the season everybody knows not to go and goof off. I think it is that time of the season and we’ve got three games left, so it is a bit of a calm before the storm. I think the guys are all ready.
On the Timbers’ final three games
We’ve got to worry about that first game at home and take advantage of our twelfth man and make sure that we can at least get ourselves in a better spot leading into those two games. [It would] be a lot better that scraping away on the road and try to get the job done at home first.
There’s nothing like playoff games. All the young guys, I’ve been telling them, these last three games are going to be like playoff games for us. These are character building games for the club and for these young guys and for this teams. For eight months, even for three months since [Lovell Palmer] and I have been here, I think we have made leaps and bounds as a club, but as far as these next few games, obviously they are massively important but getting to that playoff spot, getting into that game, you can’t teach that. You can’t say, here’s a piece of paper, read this. Going through that will make this club cohesively better.
With this game against Houston, they are an experienced side with a coach that has bred great players that have been in this league and gone abroad, they know what it takes to get in and dig deep but they haven’t played here and we are a tough team to play at home and our record shows that.