Saturday, May 28

Phil Neville cautious ahead of Inter Miami’s ‘biggest test yet’

Head coach Phil Neville has labeled Friday’s match against Orlando City SC as Inter Miami’s “biggest test yet” this season. 

The south Florida rivalry strengthens as the two teams meet up once again. Orlando City go into the game after their strongest result so far, triumphing 5-0 against the San Jose Earthquakes. Daryl Dike, who recently returned to the team after a successful loan spell at English side Barnsley, played a pivotal role for Orlando over the weekend and could potentially cause trouble on Friday.

Inter Miami have not been as strong, struggling in all aspects of the pitch. They have lost four out of their last five matches, resulting in 11th place in the Eastern Conference table of MLS, and Neville is understandably cautious ahead of the match after analyzing Orlando. 

“We’re coming up against an outstanding team, one of the best in our conference with a manager of great experience,” Neville said. “I’ve watched a lot of Orlando. They’ve got really good players and play with high energy. So, we’re going to have to be at our best. This is probably going to be our biggest test. Philadelphia is an outstanding team, but I think Orlando will be the team to beat.”

Beyond the pitch, Neville hopes the home field advantage inspires the team, and he hailed Inter Miami’s supporters for their ongoing efforts from the sidelines. 

“Our fans have been our 12th player this season,” he added. “They’ve probably been our best player so far this season, as far as their encouragement. We’re going to need them Friday night. It’s going to be an electric atmosphere, we’re going to make it as hostile as we can.

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“We want to make sure we build up this rivalry. That’s what makes football so attractive. It’s on national TV, prime time. These are the games I hope my players want to play in and perform in. We owe our supporters a great performance at home.”

The three points are crucial for Inter Miami if they hope to break into the top ten. At the moment, the team boasts only eight points from nine games, trailing immediately behind Atlanta United and Montreal Impact. 

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