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Back urges NYRB locker-room chemistry to change

New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe wants the off-field mindset of his players to change after a frustrating MLS season.

The star-studded Red Bulls line-up just scraped into the play-offs before being bundled out in the Conference semi-finals by LA Galaxy but it was the regular season which was the worrying part with a number of disciplinary problems that crept in.

Backe has described 2011 as a 'messy' season which involved a number of red cards for petulant acts and some fighting within the squad throughout the season and he has urged that to change.

"It has to be changed,'' Backe told the NY Post. "We have had a lot of problems, as you said, with the red cards, with other things that happened this year.

"This has been the absolutely messiest year I've been involved with in 32 years.

"It's only one time in my coaching career I have had these kind of troubles or problems in the team with things.

"So it has to be a cleanup for the next year. It has to be like that.''

And Red Bulls defender Tim Ream agrees.

"It's only my second season, between the two, it's definitely the messiest," he added.

"It was just tough on everybody, I think the struggles midseason with everybody coming in, going away so many times (for international duty). All the ties, the frustration - I think the frustration got to everybody more than anything.

"(Backe said) just to cut out all the back-room chatter. I think when certain controversial things arose, I think there was a lot of chatter in the locker room.

"Some guys not talking to other guys, obviously it's going to happen, there's going to be strife in the team every now and again. You just have to get rid of the back-room chatter. We're all playing for the same goal, the team."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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