Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville implored his side to be more ruthless when they host New England Revolution in MLS on Saturday after a winless start to the season.
Miami are still in search of their first win in the 2022 campaign, sitting rock-bottom of the Eastern Conference after following up an opening-day draw with four straight defeats.
The most recent loss came in a 3-1 home defeat to the Houston Dynamo, and Neville knows his team must deliver up top sooner rather than later.
“We’re definitely not ruthless enough and it’s putting a lot of pressure in terms of they’re only creating two or three chances and we’re getting punished,” he said.
“We’re going through that period where we’re getting punished for every little mistake we’re doing. But we’ve got to be more ruthless in attack.
“We’ve invested a lot in our attack, we’ve got quality players in attack and for me, the composure in the final third, the chances that we’ve created, the shots that we had on goal (should be enough).”
The Revs have struggled in similar fashion and are looking for their first win since the second game of the season, but coach Bruce Arena believes his side are learning.
“We gave away two games this year, the Real Salt Lake game and the New York Red Bulls game, we should have had at least a point,” he said.
“Lessons are there to be learnt, we were maybe a little unlucky last game (a late 1-0 loss to the Red Bulls), but it’s all part of it and it’s a long season, these seasons go every which way.
“Very rarely do you have identical seasons back-to-back, we are facing adversity but I would rather have it now than later.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Inter Miami – Gonzalo Higuain
Gonzalo Higuain announced his intentions to retire at the end of the season, but much of Inter’s goal hopes still hang on the forward, who scored their only goal against the Dynamo last time out.
New England Revolution – Jozy Altidore
Another veteran striker, Jozy Altidore, will lead the line for the Revs in the absence of Adam Buska. The 32-year-old, though, has scored just once in five outings this campaign.
KEY OPTA FACTS
·Both teams recorded road wins against the other last season, with the Revs recording a 5-0road victory in July, equaling the largest winning margin in the club’s MLS history. It was also the largest victory away from home in team history.
·Miami has just one point from its first five games in 2022. They’ve struggled on both sides of the field, scoring just three times, and conceding 13. The result, a minus-10 goal difference, is tied for the second worst through five games in MLS history (D.C. United: -11 in 2010).
·The Revolution have lost three straight matches in a single season for the first time under Bruce Arena. Arena’s only four-match losing streak in his MLS career came in his first four matches in the league in 1996 with D.C. United. The last game in that streak was a breakaway shootout defeat after a 1-1 draw with New England, so Arena has never lost four consecutive games in regulation in his MLS career.
·Gonzalo Higuaín has been involved in all three goals Miami has scored in MLS play this season. With just Higuaín and Leonardo Campana finding the net, Miami has the fewest different goalscorers in the league so far this season (2).
·The Revolution made unwanted history on Saturday night, losing to the Red Bulls on a late own goal. Matt Polster’s own goal in the 90th minute was the first time in MLS history a team lost 1-0 with that lone goal being an 90th minute own goal.