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Former Tottenham, Sunderland midfielder Tainio relishing NYRB role

Teemu Tainio is not bothered if he doesn't get much of the ball in the centre of midfield for New York Red Bulls.

The Finland international, who is a former Tottenham, Sunderland, Birmingham City and Ajax Amsterdam midfielder, has been impressive in his first six games for his new club.

On the weekend, he was a marked man when DC United attempted to close down both he and Dwayne De Rosario in the central midfield, but in the end the plan went against the Washington outfit as the Red Bulls won 4-0 at RFK Stadium.

Tainio admitted that he and De Rosario were shut out but said it was great because it freed up others such as Jan Gunnar Solli who provided two of the goals from the right flank for the Red Bulls.

"I don't know. We didn't play that well against DC, but hey, 4-0 on the scoreboard. I let them figure it out how they're going to stop us,'' said Tainio.

"I think DC had something like that on the menu. There was always somebody close to me, so I didn't really have the ball that much as I'd been having in games before. But it didn't matter; there was always somebody open. I have to make sure with my movement if somebody is catching me that I'm (finding the open man).

"That won't be a problem. But that's my game, I want to be with the ball as much as I can and play the forwards or De Ro or the guys playing wide. That's my game.''

And Solli said now that other sides have seen how they can play the ball out wide and be dangerous, it makes life much tougher for the opposition.

"I think the way DC managed to close us down in the middle of the park, they did a very good job. Maybe it was a surprise to them that also the right back came (forward) so many times in that game,'' said Solli.

"When Rafa (Marquez) hits Dane (Richards) and Dane uses a one-touch flick to me, there was a lot of space there. We managed to hurt them pretty bad in the back by using that kind of thing.''

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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