Phil Neville admits there can be no more excuses for Inter Miami as they attempt to end a five-game losing run when they face New York Red Bulls on Saturday.
Inter are joint-bottom of the Eastern Conference after collecting just eight points from their first 11 games in what is only their second campaign in MLS.
The Herons have had two weeks to reflect on their 1-0 loss to CF Montreal, during which time they have registered the signings of Kieran Gibbs and goalkeeper Nick Marsman.
Neville’s men are in action at Red Bull Arena for a second game running this weekend and the English coach hopes the new additions can help transform his side’s fortunes.
“The team knows what’s expected and what we need to do,” he said. “We’re at the point of no excuses. We need to win games of football.”Kieran is a senior England international who has experience at the top level, which he can pass on to other players. Every team needs leaders, which Kieran can be.”
NYRB were denied victory late on against Philadelphia Union in their last match, but that 1-1 draw means they are unbeaten in three matches.The Red Bulls are seventh in the Eastern Conference and head coach Gerhard Struber is pleased with the recent progress made by his side, even if performances have not been perfect.
“We’ve improved so many things in the last few weeks,” he said. “I am very happy with so many things, but in the end, I am a professional coach and I have a will to win.
“This is nice to have, but in the end I want to win every game. I saw a top performance for 70 minutes against Philadelphia, but then we lost a bit of hunger.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
New York Red Bulls – Patryk Klimala
Klimala was on target for the Red Bulls in their draw with Philadelphia Union to make it two goals and four assists in eight MLS appearances this season.
The 22-year-old has been involved in five of his side’s last seven goals, in fact, and has either scored or assisted in all three matches he has played at Red Bull Arena.
Inter Miami – Kieran Gibbs
Neville must decide which of his new recruits to use against the Red Bulls. Given his side’s defensive issues this term, with only one clean sheet so far, Gibbs may well slot straight into the backline here.
The former Arsenal player favours playing at left-back and, having been used 10 times in the Premier League for West Brom last season, he certainly does not lack experience.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Each team recorded an away win against the other in the 2020 season, with Miami winning 2-1 at Red Bull Arena in October. Gonzalo Higuaín scored the winning goal in that match, his first in MLS.
– Since their defeat to Miami at Red Bull Arena last October, the Red Bulls have lost only one of their last nine home matches (W6 D2).
– New York are unbeaten in five straight matches at home (W4 D1), conceding only twice in that span.
– Inter Miami have tied a club record with five straight losses, scoring only once in that time. The Herons have failed to score six times this season; only expansion side Austin FC (eight) have been shut out more often.
– Inter have attempted an MLS-low 9.0 shots per match this season and even fewer, 6.2 per match, on the road. Since Opta began collecting shot data in 2010, no team has attempted fewer than 7.6 shots per match in away matches over the course of a season.