Phil Neville vs. FC Cincinnati 5.16.21

Touchline Talk

Following Inter Miami’s 2-3 away victory over FC Cincinnati on Sunday, head coach Phil Neville was impressed by the big-game players who pushed the team forward after Wednesday’s 0-2 loss against Montreal. 

“It’s a big moment for them as a group and the big players stood up...Thinking about the DP players, thinking about the experienced players, and they all took accountability. They drove the rest of the group the last two or three days in training and ultimately at 2-2 we had six or seven minutes to go and the big players stood up and won us the game,” said Phil Neville.

“Every game seems like a big game for this Club…we need to accept that and rise to it and enjoy that challenge. I hope that we are beginning to do that.”

Following the victory, Neville acknowledged that while it was a step in the direction he wishes to take the team, the team will continue to work to improve. 

“The main focus of me for the next six or eight months is building a culture, building a spirit, and building a togetherness that we can look and be proud of and fight like we did against Nashville, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and LA Galaxy that we didn’t show against Montréal. I am super proud of them but also we still got an awful lot of work to go, and I feel no different tonight than what I did on Wednesday in terms of length or the amount of work that is need in this football club to keep driving home where we want to get to because there are great expectations of this fútbol team.”

Against Cincinnati, Neville was quick to hand out plaudits to John McCarthy, who produced excellent saves that helped keep Inter Miami in charge of the match.

“I thought John was probably Man of the Match for me. I thought his saves, his composure, his kicking ability, [and] the composure he’s given the team I think is really good. What I love about John is that he is the first to hold his hand up when he makes a mistake, he’s the first to hold his hand up and challenge people when they are not doing well. I’ve said to him in the dressing room that that was a big performance for him and that he won us the game with his saves, particularly in the first half, and with his composure in the second half...John has really impressed everyone in and around the coaching team.”

Neville also took a moment to acknowledge the contributions of Victor Ulloa and Brek Shea, as well as the impact of the second-half substitutes. 

“I have got to say Victor Ulloa, at playing at right back and out of position, he’s sacrificing himself for the team. He’s defending well, he’s finding himself in positions that are really foreign to him but he’s just enjoying the challenge and I think he can be really proud of his performance as well.”

“Brek played probably in his best position today, on the left wing a little bit higher up...I think what you saw today was the Brek Shea that we all know. He’s athletic, he was a danger, he was a threat, he helped Sami Guediri, particularly in that first half, to help him settle in.”

“We freshened it up on that left-hand side and brought Jay [Chapman] in and Joevin [Jones] who I thought was really good when he came on as well. I’m pleased with all those players that are doing really good jobs for the team,” concluded Neville.