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Vancouver Whitecaps defender Marcel de Jong says his team simply hasn’t been good enough to win lately.

After losing five of their past six matches, the Whitecaps are looking for redemption when the Montreal Impact visit Vancouver for the second leg of their Canadian Championship semi-final on Wednesday.

Montreal won the first match 1-0 last week.

Winning at home is a huge opportunity, but the ‘Caps will need to focus to secure the victory, de Jong said.

“We’ve been not fully there every game. We have to be better, we need to step it up,” he said after training this week. “Concentration, mentality, focus, everything has to be a little bit sharper, a little bit better. And that’s what you have to do to win games.”

Mistakes and penalties have been killing the team in recent games, head coach Carl Robinson said.

“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot at the moment,” he said.

A hand ball during Saturday’s game in Seattle lead to the Sounders scoring on a penalty kick. Later in the match, Vancouver midfielder Efrain Juarez was handed a red card after a scuffle with a referee.

The Sounders beat the ‘Caps 2-0.

Robinson said he let his players know after the game that he wasn’t impressed.

Keeping 11 men on the field is key to winning, he said, noting that last year the club was able to scratch out victories even when they were down players.

That’s not the case anymore.

“The league is getting better and better, players are getting bigger and bigger, stronger and stronger. So if we go down to 10 men, nine men, were not going to win games of football,” Robinson said. “It’s as simple as that.”

It’s been a tough month for the Whitecaps, who have faced a schedule of five games in 15 days and the distraction of star midfielder Alphonso Davies reportedly signing with storied German club Bayern Munich.

The 17-year-old has three goals and eight assists in 20 games this year, but hasn’t played in the past two matches as talks about his future continue.

The club has missed Davies’s “attacking talent,” Robinson said.

“We’ve probably let us affect us a bit too much. Not intentionally but if we can get him back in the groove as early as possible once it’s all said and done and over the line, then I think everyone’s happy,” he said.

Winning in Vancouver, where the ‘Caps have been 4-2-4 this season, could help give the club a much-needed confidence boost, midfielder Russell Teibert said.

“This could really turn our season around,” he said. “We’re not sitting exactly where we want to be in this season and getting a result, going out and winning this game and then propelling ourselves on to win the Canadian Championship could really turn our season around.”

Defender Doneil Henry said he knows how good it feels to win the tournament. The 25-year-old has three Canadian Championship titles from his time with Toronto FC and that experience is motivating him for Wednesday’s game.

“We’re going to come full guns blazing,” he said. “I think everyone in the group knows how important it is, especially right now coming off another loss. We’re not happy.”

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