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Tom Coughlin makes impassioned plea to Giants fans to keep the faith

Fans head for the exits during the fourth

Fans head for the exits during the fourth quarter of a game between the Giants and the Arizona Cardinals at MetLife Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014 in East Rutherford, N.J. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Tom Coughlin was asked about his reaction to the fans who left Sunday's game at MetLife Stadium early -- many fled after the Rashad Jennings fumble with 4:30 left in the fourth quarter -- and the general sourness that has engulfed the fan base thanks to the team's 0-2 start. What he delivered was a three-minute sermon that was in parts apologetic and in parts inspiring. Here's what he said:

"I would like in an ideal world that they would stay and remain as upbeat and positive as they possibly can because of the way they affect the young men who are on the field. They are fans, they bleed, they live and die with circumstances. It wasn't good yesterday. It was better, but it wasn't the end result that everyone was looking for. So I would say that we need them, we need them to be upbeat. I thought they were great yesterday, I thought the noise was terrific, they were into it. The patriotism was super, the response to the Giants players who returned from the past seemed to be outstanding. It was a magnificent day for football. It was a wonderful experience for all. Except, we didn't put the necessary points on the board to win the game. I hope they realize it was a very very competitive game to deep in the fourth quarter. The opportunity and the chance was there for us and we didn't get it done. Well, perhaps we can learn something from that and continue to go on and fight and accept the next challenge and be even more hardened as to what has to be done, to become closer together and bound together as a team, and maybe if we come out and play like that then maybe the fans will continue to grow and to respond and be energetic about what we're trying to accomplish on the field. I don't see this as being a reason for them not to be if they understand what our task and our goal is, to toughen up. Let's go. Come on. Stop beating ourselves. This is professional football. Make the plays necessary to win and do it on a consistent basis and eliminate these bizarre events which take the heart right out of you. So I hope they'll respond to the fact that I'm counting on the competitors that sit in the audience when I speak to our team, I'm counting on them to accept the challenge, to not feel sorry for ourselves, and to realize the work that has to be done in order for us to win. I hope the fans will join in in that exact feeling."

New York Sports