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Portland Timbers players right behind new coach Wilkinson

Gavin Wilkinson had his first match in charge of Portland Timbers on the weekend and it ended in a disappointing 5-3 loss to LA Galaxy.

The former Timbers general manager took the coaching reins from John Spencer last week when the Scotsman was sacked by the club but Wilkinson's MLS debut as a coach did not go to plan.

Nonetheless, the Timbers players have made it clear that they are right behind their new boss and will work closely with him to get the desired results.

"It's not on one person, one individual," said defender Jack Jewsbury.

"We're a group, and everything we do relies on everyone as a group coming together and fighting for one another. Defensively and offensively, we've got to be better, and it's collectively as a group."

Goalkeeper Troy Perkins added: "We're professionals. That part of the game (losing a coach) shouldn't bother us at all. There's no excuse for losing.

"We as a team present ourselves with those chances. You step between the lines, and the coach can't win you the game."

Whilst striker Danny Mwanga felt that things will get a lot better under Wilkinson after Portland fell to the bottom of the Western Conference table.

"(Wilkinson) is a very direct guy," Mwanga said. "He'll let you know straight up about the things that he expects from us.

"Everybody is on the same page, and we all know exactly what the coaching staff is expecting, so it's a very good thing for the team."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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