Inter Miami 2, Atlanta United 1: What was said

Credit: MLS

Credit: MLS

What was said after Atlanta United’s 2-1 loss to Inter Miami on Wednesday in Ft. Lauderdale:

Atlanta United interim head coach Stephen Glass

On the impact of the missed penalty kicks at end of first half

“The impact is pretty clear in terms of the result. I think it’s an overriding factor in not getting a result tonight. Also, it probably should have been a red card, not probably, definitely should have been a red card. The referee not choosing to send him off is a massive factor in the game. In terms of the confusion on the pitch, I didn’t see any confusion. Ezequiel (Barco) was going to take the penalty kicks. Maybe Cubo (Torres) didn’t realize that. Ezequiel had two opportunities to do it and the goalkeeper made a couple of saves.”

On what he attributes the drop off in second half to

“I think it probably is a little bit of fatigue. I think in terms of allowing them into the game and allowing them to press us a bit when we lacked pace in moving the ball. I think when we moved the ball quickly in the second half, we looked dangerous. Anytime we passed up opportunities to switch it, we gave them opportunities to press us and counterattack, which they are pretty good at. So, in terms of the pace on the ball in second half and the belief to continue doing what we were doing well in first half. That’s the biggest factor to me.”

On what the locker room atmosphere is right now

“I think we are a little bit frustrated tonight. We realize we should have gotten more out of the game. But obviously you don’t get any points tonight. So, now the next game is Saturday night and we need to turn our attention to that. The players need to recover quick. It’s a demanding schedule for us. I think there is a sense of frustration though. Anytime one of your players gets whacked in the face the way that he did, you expect the opposing team’s player to get sent off. Their manager takes the player off at halftime, because he knows he should have been sent off. And he saves the referee from correcting his own mistake. To be honest, I don’t think it’s not even a mistake, that’s the bigger concern.”

On if he received an explanation on that foul, in particular the hand to the face

“Yeah, I asked the referee calmly. He explained to me that it was not an elbow. He didn’t feel like there was any aggression. But I’ve watched the play, I’ve seen it also at the time live and it’s clear as day, but I’ve watched the play on video again. He steps across and he uses his forearm to smash our player in the face. There is not a country on this planet where that play is not a red card. So, I don’t know how, but I don’t see any reason for four officials and video people to get that incorrect in my opinion.”

On team struggling to unlock Miami’s defense tonight

"I think they were pressing us. Their front players are quite aggressive in the pressing. Later in the game, we didn’t quite handle that. Maybe put players a little too high too early. Not being able to build through the thirds like we did in the first half. I wouldn’t say panic setting in, but trying to do things different from the way we set up. Altered probably a little bit the game plan and the approach of the players. We just need to continue believing in the way that we are moving the ball when you are getting success and continue down that road.

Atlanta United defender Brooks Lennon

On his thoughts on the game

“I thought we gave up two cheap goals in the first half. Both goals came off of our mistakes going forward. I think one was a set piece that got cleared out and I don’t think we were positioned in the right areas and they were able to counter on us and score a goal that we shouldn’t give away. You said we had most of the possession tonight but that doesn’t matter. You have to put the ball in the net and we didn’t do that tonight. We had our chances. Unfortunately, we missed the two penalty kicks. We ha the goal called back for the equalizer. Just a tough night overall. Like Glassy said postgame in the locker room, we can’t dwell on this performance. We’re very disappointed but we need to move forward.”

On what the key is to get the attack going

“I think the main thing for us is to not chase every single game that we’re in. Going down a goal every game is tough. This is a common theme that we don’t start well. We give away early goals and we’re always trying to come from behind and we need to change that narrative. We need to come out from the first minute and be on top of teams because you see out there that we can do it. We out-possess teams, move the ball well at times and we’re competing but we just can’t try to come from behind and try to equalize every game. We have to come from minute one and go up early and finish our chances. I think we ahd a couple chances in the first half, including the penalty kicks. I think you said we had two chances on target in the second half but that’s not enough.”

On if Atlanta expected Inter Miami CF to sit back and give Atlanta most of the field

“Yes, we did. Obviously, they played a day later than we did, so we knew that they were going to come out and try to sit and counter on us since they had just as heavy legs as us, or even more. We knew we would have a lot of the ball and it was just whether we could switch it from side to side quick enough. Tonight we did it at times and others we didn’t and that’s definitely something we need to work on because the faster we move it from side to side the more chances we create and goals we score. Just like the goal we scored in Orlando on Saturday, it was just from switching the ball from right to left and we were able to get a cross in. So we’ll go back to the training ground and work on it.”

Atlanta United midfielder Jon Gallagher

On being able to hear Stephen Glass during the game

“It is obviously a lot different when you are playing in front of fans. You kind of have to create your own atmosphere, but in a way it is nice because usually you are looking at your gaffer not knowing what he said. You just kind of give him a thumbs up, but now you can get proper coaching which helped me because obviously I’ve played a couple positions in the last few years, so I had to get used to another one that I have not necessarily played in a while.”

On the penalty decision and if it should have been a red card

“I felt like he caught me a few times early on, maybe he was getting a bit frustrated. I couldn’t really see much of it. I just kind of see him looking where I am, and next thing I am getting an elbow across the jaw. It is what it is. If they didn’t see it, they have VAR for a reason, and if they didn’t see something that was worthy of a red, then I don’t know. We got the penalty.”

On readjusting to playing 90 minutes

“Mentally preparing myself for a game. The last few games I have been a sub and that is a completely different way of preparing for a match; the mentality going in, not knowing if you are going to play. Tonight was obviously special for me, getting my first start for the club. It has been a long road for that and something that I am proud of. It is kind of bittersweet because obviously we were pretty disappointed with the result and felt we could have got a little bit more.”

On how the team is adapting to change

“I have witnessed the club win a championship and go through a bit of a rut like we are now, but I think the most important thing for us right now is something that Glassy is harping on at the moment is just sticking together. Atlanta United has a target on their back and I think right now we can’t really feel sorry for ourselves. We have a game in two days. Our focus has to shift to that. We are bitterly disappointed in tonight and we know we could have done a lot better, but we’ve got to collectively stay together and pick each other up.”

On how much preparation he got to start

“A couple days and then obviously since I’ve been back with the club, I’ve been moved around quite a lot. It is not something that I am unfamiliar with. My first six months with the club I played left-mid. At Aberdeen I played almost everywhere. It is something that is part of my game and the gaffer knows that he can put me wherever and I’ll do a job. It is more just switching mentality. If I play right back, then I have to win my 1-v-1 battles defensively. Then if I played left wing, it is the opposite and I’ve got to beat the right back in front of me. So, just maybe tweaking things in training a little bit differently, how I look at the game and how we prepare for it.”



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