Inter Miami will be back on the pitch as it seeks to extend its three-game unbeaten streak to earn three points against FC Cincinnati at TQL Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m ET.
Head coach Phil Neville analyzed the strong defensive performance on the road that led to the scoreless draw versus Orlando City SC and expresses that he hopes the defensive domination will carry momentum against FC Cincinnati. Notably, he pointed out the fighting mentality from the Herons.
“The attitude of, we were never going to get beat, putting bodies on the line, those are qualities that you need on the road in this league to get points added on top of that,” Neville said.
In addition, Neville discussed the importance of a fierce defensive presence on the pitch as Inter Miami fights to earn a playoff spot.
“We've got a little run of games now where we feel as if we can really, really make a big impact into the season, and every single player needs to be ready for that and for the challenge ahead.
“That's the challenge ahead of us, and it starts with Cincinnati,” Neville said.
Examining the heavy impact that Nicolás Figal has on the game, Neville discussed the way in which Figal creates a level of protection and security for his teammates through his technical ability.
“Nico being in that central position in the back three, he’s provided real calmness and composure. He’s been disciplined. His technical ability has been really good, his defensive position to cover for Christian [Makoun] and for Leandro [González Pirez] has been really good. It’s allowed Christian and Leandro to be really really forward-thinking,” said Neville.
In addition to Figal’s defensive ability, Neville emphasized his capability to demonstrate infectious leadership qualities that lead to the creation of opportunities on the field.
“He has got a lot of those qualities that you need when you go away from home to win and be successful,” Neville said.
“He’s a leader within this team. Even though he’s not the captain, he’s Nico Figal,” he added.
Figal also showed the leadership qualities that Neville mentioned by highlighting the team’s mindset ahead of Saturday’s match in Cincinnati.
“The group knows we want to make the playoffs and we know that this is going to be an important match like all the matches that are ahead of us right now,” said Figal.
While putting heavy emphasis on the hunger and harmony within the Inter Miami squad, Figal re-emphasized the goal of a playoff push and the importance of concentrating on the upcoming match.
“There have been a lot of young guys that come with a lot of hunger and when everything is going in that direction, a team is created that has harmony and makes it a lot easier for things to turn out well,” said Figal.
“We’re taking it [the upcoming game] with huge responsibility because we're a group of players that has won a lot previously and me personally I am not going to stop until we make the playoffs because we want to win the league and we’re going to approach this game as a final that we must win.”
Saturday’s match will be broadcast live regionally on CBS4, CW34, UniMás and the Inter Miami App. Fans worldwide can follow live updates including video highlights and stats on the Club’s App. Download and Register your Profile here: https://www.intermiamicf.com/en/club/app.