Ex-Middlesbrough and West Ham defender Emanuel Pogatetz apologetic after Facebook rant over benching

Middlesbrough FC Crest

The Columbus Crew SC centre-back was none too pleased about starting just one of the MLS club's past three matches.

Columbus Crew SC defender Emanuel Pogatetz has moved to clear the air with head coach Gregg Berhalter for the Facebook rant he posted in the wake of the weekend’s 2-1 defeat to the Montreal Impact.

Pogatetz, 32, was left on the bench for the second time in three games as his side suffered a disappointing home loss to the unfancied Impact but, despite Berhalter stressing at the time that the decision was based on his need for rest, the Austrian did not take it well.

However, speaking to MLSSoccer.com’s Andrew King after taking some time to reflect, the man nicknamed “Mad Dog” because of his aggression was apologetic and admitted that he could have handled the situation better.

“I had a conversation with [Berhalter] today,” he told the website. “What happened happened, and I think we can’t do anything about it now. So all I want to do is focus looking forward. I’m fully committed. I understand, and I want to help the team if I play or if I don’t play.

“I think the most important thing is the team, and that’s what we all have to impress. That’s what I have to impress. I understand that, and from now on we just come together as a team and focus on getting results.”

Berhalter, meanwhile, said that he was not upset about Pogatetz’s message and in fact stressed that he took it as a positive sign that the former Middlesbrough and West Ham United man is so eager to get on the pitch.

“I think it’s great; I think it’s great that you have guys anxious to get on the field and guys not satisfied with being substitutes,” he said. “In terms of the forum for doing that, I think it could have been more useful to talk directly to the coaching staff, but we need guys that want to be on the field. I think that’s a good sign.”

Pogatetz, who joined the Crew in September, has started 12 of the club’s 15 games so far this season and earned solid reviews after struggling to get minutes during the final few months of the 2014 campaign.

Nevertheless, the team themselves have struggled for form in recent weeks, having failed to record a win in their past five matches, and now face a tough run of league fixtures against MLS Cup holders LA Galaxy, the New England Revolution and Real Salt Lake, respectively.

Pogatetz should be back in the line-up when LA visit MAPFRE Stadium this weekend but, while the league champions will be without captain Robbie Keane due to international commitments, Bruce Arena’s men still have enough firepower to keep the veteran centre-back on his toes.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch