On this week's Orlando City Coach's Show with Adrian Heath, the Lions' boss discusses Friday night's impressive 5-2 win over the New York Red Bulls, previews Saturday's pivotal match-up against the Montreal Impact, and other news around Orlando City SC.
Current Run of Wins
"I think I said on this show and I've said it on numerous occasions lately that did I feel that this team was capable of winning four or five games, which we were going to need to make the playoffs? I said we could. I think one or two people raised their eyebrows at it."
"One thing I wanted to make sure of was that when the Montreal game came around, there was something to play for."
Red Bulls Game
"The first 10 or 15 minutes away from home in any game are so important. Especially when you play a team like the Red Bulls who have lost one game and drawn one before we played them. Their home record is probably the best in the whole of MLS. So it was important that we weathered the early storm. When we did that, I always felt comfortable that, the way our team matches up with theirs, we could actually cause them trouble on the break."
"We had a strange situation with Seb Hines dislocating his shoulder, the shuffle actually made us more dangerous on the counter attack because we moved Bodz across and moved Brek Shea. So we brought Rivas on and when Rivas has a lot of space in behind people, you can see how dangerous he was. But the most important thing was his final ball was absolutely fantastic on the evening."
Cyle Larin Setting MLS Rookie Goal Scoring Record
"I said to him before I put the team sheet in, ‘Are you feeling really tired, or have you just not been playing well the last two or three games?' And he said, ‘I feel really good.'"
"I wanted him to break the record."
"Before the game I just sensed that the lads were really determined to get a result."
David Mateos Pregame Injury
"We thought David was going to be okay. He had a slight niggle in it but it didn't improve over the next 48 hours and we thought it would do. In New York, we knew we couldn't have anyone that was like 75 percent fit against them. So we decided to leave him out completely and hopefully save him for the next games."
Seb Hines Injury
"Seb's been working really hard and wanted to get back into the team and he dislocated his shoulder. And they couldn't put it back in and he was in a lot of pain so they tried and couldn't put it back in."
Luke Boden at Center Back
"He headed the ball more in 25 minutes than he has since he's been with us."
Early Second Half Goal
"The one thing we talked about at halftime was make sure we start quickly, because we knew they were going to come out, they were kicking toward their favorite end, they've scored more goals kicking that way than they have the other end, so we were aware they were comfortable kicking at that end. The most important thing was don't concede early on. Not only did we not concede, we obviously got the goal, which was huge for us."
"I thought the referee was fantastic."
"When we signed Cristian, he was coming off the back of an injury. Six months prior to us signing him, it was looking like he was going to sign for Inter Milan. And the knee injury came at the wrong time for him. They sat and waited for him to get himself 100 percent fit again. We took a gamble. It wasn't a gamble on his ability but before people are fully 100 percent fit, we bought on the back of what we'd seen before and it's proven to be a really wise decision because we could've sold Cristian a couple of times before now. We'll hold onto him until we think the time's right. The time's right for him and the time's right for the club. If the kid keeps himself fit and God willing has no injuries, the kid's got everything ahead of him."
MLS Preferential Treatment
"The league's a bit biased. You look at LA and New York and sometimes you wonder if anyone else is in the league. But it is what it is and it was nice to go up there and win the game."
"Would I rather be in New York or LA? No. I like where I am and I like what we're trying to build here and we're going to be good."
"You keep telling Cyle if he doesn't produce the level we expect of him he's coming out of the team then Bryan's earned his opportunity. And we keep saying to Bryan you're the next man up. You're the one that's putting pressure on Cyle. The minute that Cyle drops his performance to a level that we don't think is acceptable, Bryan will get his opportunity."
"I think the way Bryan has played recently has really been pushing Cyle hard."
"If someone tells us that Montreal have won again or New York have won again, it doesn't really matter to us. We're still going to have to win our games. We tell the players, have a look at it if you want because that's human nature, but it doesn't matter because if we don't win, we're not going to the playoffs anyway."
Winning and Losing Streaks
"My thing is, you can't be too high when you're winning and you can't be too low when you're losing because it's very easy for players to sense when results are affecting the coaching staff."
Support Around the State
"I was down in Miami not long ago and there was a gang of four guys sitting in the corner having a beer and, they didn't even recognize me, but we went over and got talking and they've been to every home game. They're traveling three and a half hours to come to a game."
Starting Lewis Neal over Adrian Winter
"Lew's really disappointed with himself after the game because by his own admission, one of the things Lewis Neal's very good at is possession of the ball. And I don't think I've ever seen him give the ball away as much as he did in New York. He's certainly the most tactical footballer that we have. So when you're trying to change the shape of the team, normally people like Lew are the people you go to because they understand what you're trying to do. And Adrian's still trying to get on the same page with what we're trying to do anyway. Whether we change it this weekend remains to be seen."
"The fact that he's 36 or 37 will show everybody what he was like when he was 26, 27. I remember when he was in his prime when we were at Sunderland and he was virtually unplayable."
"He's been an iconic player for the last 20 years."
Tactics Against Montreal
"We can't get caught up with the fact that we have to win it so quickly and leave ourselves exposed. We proved at the weekend that if the people can weather the early storm and then you leave yourself open to the counter attack. I think the most important thing is we match up quite well. The one thing I'm not so sure about is if Piatti played at the weekend, we pretty much know how we would line up. They would've played four at the back, and then two, and then three, and then one up front. Similar to what we do. But the fact that Piatti's away in Argentina, I think his father is ill, we're not quite sure whether he'll be back. So they might change the way they play a little bit to a 4-1-4-1 which won't displease me if they do."
Center Backs Defending Drogba
"When the ball goes wide, you can't watch the ball. The minute you watch the ball it'll either be off your back shoulder, in between you, or the minute you turn it'll be across the front of you. Didier Drogba is one of the best players you'll see at attacking the ball in the box when the ball goes wide. They've put more crosses in since Didier Drogba's been here than they've done nearly all season. So they've obviously worked on getting the ball in nice and early and Drogba getting on the end of it. So when the ball goes wide, we want to get in tight against him and make it difficult for him to get a run or a jump and basically not make mistakes around him."
"If the goalkeeper spills anything, I guarantee you Drogba will be there to tap it in."
Montreal's Attacking Weapons
"The front of their team now has a real threat. They played Oduro wide so it stretches the width. They play Piatti behind, so obviously your two center backs are never certain to go tighter, and they're very good."
"They're a team that have been growing steadily."