April 13, 2011 MLS--Attakora Determined To Regain Form (from TorontoFC.ca)

Attakora Determined To Regain Form
Toronto FC defender has been subbed off in two straight matches.
Duane Rollins
April 13, 2011  

TORONTO — Toronto FC defender Nana Attakora isn’t making excuses for his poor play over the last two weeks.

The defender was tactically subbed from both of his team's past two matches, against San Jose and Chivas USA. It marked the first two times 
in Attakora's career that he had been removed from a game that he started. Last weekend, head coach Aron Winter said he was “not in the game.”

Attakora says there have been off-field distractions that may have contributed, but he was not about to blame anyone but himself.

“Obviously my play on the field has not been great,” he said. “But I think [getting subbed] is going to help mentally.”

After a four-season rise that saw Attakora go from an unknown 17-year-old in 2007 to a regular starter and key member of the Reds in 2010, it’s easy 
to forget that he’s only 21 years old. Attakora says he’s not fully developed as a soccer player and a setback was bound to happen.

“A lot of players that are 20, 21 are thought of as young and up-and-coming,” he said. “But, with me since I’ve been here so long people expect more 
– I’m totally fine with that.”

Following the 1-1 draw at San Jose, Winter said the TFC back line was giving too much space to Earthquakes attackers. Although Attakora said he was 
not singled out by the coach for that failing, he understands that his removal from the game likely suggests that his lack of physical play was 
contributing to the space San Jose were getting.

“Obviously, we made the change and we got better,” he said. “It’s up to me to take the lesson and get back to playing a full 90 if I get another chance.”

Attakora says he’s emotionally strong despite the recent road bumps and, in a strange way, somewhat happy he's facing this challenge.

“It lets you know who your true friends are,” he said. “I just have to put it past me and go out and prove my worth.”

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