Inter Miami’s push to make the MLS Cup Playoffs continues when they travel to DC United on Saturday afternoon and there’s absolutely no margin for error now.
The Herons ended a three-game losing streak with a vital 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew on Tuesday but remain two points adrift of the top seven in the East with just four games remaining.
What’s more, with challenging games against Toronto FC, Orlando City, and CF Montreal still to come, this trip to DC represents Miami’s most winnable game of the run-in – even if Phil Neville must go head-to-head with former Manchester United and England teammate Wayne Rooney in the dugout.
Speaking to reporters at a pre-match press conference, Neville outlined how he plans for his side to take the bull by the horns in their bid to return to the Playoffs.
“The biggest thing in these situations is sometimes not how you play, but it’s the character and spirit and determination,” Neville said. “The last four or five games of the season, the result almost becomes more important than the performance. But we want both. We want both, that’s the expectation.
“We want to attack. We’re going to go for it. Our attitude hasn’t changed in that and we’ve just got to remain in control. We’ve got an outstanding group, a group that I trust more than probably any other group I’ve worked with. I think they’re ready for it.”
Given the high expectations placed upon Inter Miami since their arrival in MLS, you might expect Neville to be feeling the pressure of potentially missing out on the Playoffs for the second time in three seasons.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite, with Neville relishing the ‘cup final’ nature of these games during the run-in.
“It’s another massive game for us before the international break,” Neville said. “The games are coming thick and fast where every game seems to be like a cup final. I think we’re really enjoying that situation.”
Echoing his head coach’s sentiments, goalkeeper Drake Callender added: “Every game that we have left is like a final cup game.
“We have to take that into account in our preparation. Again, taking it game by game but also just really leaving it all out on the field every single game. Going for it, going for the win. That’s what we have to do.”
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