RM1X4448

HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On how his nerves are after the game …

"Well, relieved … so pleased for the players and staff, and everybody back in Minnesota. It’s been a really stressful day as you can see, but we came through it … and I thought that our first half performance was outstanding. You know huge, huge praise for the players because to come in here, when they know they need a result, is no small feat. So just delighted for everybody connected at the club."

On Decision Day being great for the league, how it is for coaches …

"It can be a bit stressful, but you know, coming from Europe where we have promotions and relegation, I’ve been through it quite a few times, and I know how nerve-wracking they can be. You know, obviously, pretty late on when they’re putting so many crosses in the box, and Chicharito has great movement, and then they put more forwards on … so, you know you’re always one mistake away from being out…and that would’ve been a travesty the way we played today. But we were excellent and love the commitment and drive and desire in the players. They got what they deserved and now we got to Portland, and we've proved we can win there. As I’ve said, we’ve got our best players on the field, especially the front four, we can score goals – and we will – and we’ll make it difficult for teams. And although we know it’s going to be hard in Portland, certainly not impossible for this group of players."

On the second half message after conceding …

"You’ve heard me say it before about not beating yourselves. Chase had a really good game and he could have cleared it twice, he had an opportunity to roll it back to Dibassy or he could’ve slid it down the side. He decided to do one more little Cruyff turn and he was caught out and then we were a little bit stretched and it changes the momentum of the game. Suddenly their crowd are back into the game and I knew the second half was going to be tough, but we’ve looked really dangerous on the breakaway."

On if he told the team on the RSL result …

"Yeah, we told them that if we concede the game then we would be out. Obviously, sometimes don’t want to do that, because then it just gets nervy and people start doing things that they shouldn’t in panic mode, but I think they probably guessed by listening to the crowd and the way they were going as well. When it was nil-nil for so long I said, “Trust me, Salt Lake will have an opportunity, and probably Kreilach will score.” I said it on the bench. You know, big players come up strong when you need them."

On Fragapane taking the PK instead of Reynoso …

"I don’t know at this moment in time, but I’ll find out. I don’t know the reasons why Reynoso didn’t take the penalty, so we’ll ask the question for sure."

On success against Portland the past few years …

"Playing well, taking our opportunities when they arise. I think that we match up well with them, the way we like to play. They’ve been really strong at home, late on and playoff game atmosphere will be terrific in there. It’s a good place to play, but we’ll have to play well for sure, and if we do take our opportunities when they arise, we can go there and win for sure."

On starting this year off with four losses and making the playoffs …

"It put us behind the eight ball a little bit, doesn’t it? We didn’t give ourselves much room for error. I think, if I’m right, only two teams that have ever done it from that type of start, so speaks volumes for the players and the staff – how hard everyone’s worked. If you look at our record since front four have been playing regular, it’s pretty impressive. So, we have to keep our best players on the field like everybody. Playoffs now, all the big, all the best players have got to bring their A games and if you do, that’ll make the difference for whichever team we play or whichever team plays us."

On taking Reynoso out when he got the yellow card …

"No, no he was tired late on and he said his calf was cramping a little bit. I’m always reluctant to take the best players off the field. Sometimes you have to do it to protect them. I thought the referee had a very difficult evening. I’m trying to work out some of his decisions we got bookings for, but then the foul was on Rey. I’m just pleased that he’s come through and that he’s okay."

On Tyler Miller being big in stoppage time …

"He’s been like that, hasn’t he? You know he’s had a couple of errors in recent weeks, but at no stage have I ever thought about changing the goalkeeper because you look at his body of work throughout the year and it’s been outstanding."

On plan going forward and International break …

"We’ll get back late this evening, we’ll give them two or three days off and then we’ll start to build up from there. What you have to be careful of is you don’t do too much and you don’t do too little either. You got to keep them in great shape, the ones that are back here, keep them sharp and that sometimes is a bit tricky at this stage, but I think we’ll probably be back here on Wednesday and we’ll work Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, weekend off, and then we’re in the full week build-up."

On who will be away …

"Robin [Lod] and Jukka [Raitala] are away. Boxy [Michael Boxall] is away, and Romain [Metanire]."

On what he told the players after the game…

"After the game? I’ve hardly spoke to them, I’ve had about six interviews. So I will go in there and thank them for all their efforts, outstanding performance in a very difficult place on the road, and they’ve got what they richly deserve."

FORWARD ROBIN LOD

On what it means to go to playoffs after 0-4 start …

“It’s a huge thing. It’s been a rollercoaster of a season. We started really bad then we had really good games in the middle of the summer and then these last few games we have been struggling a little bit, but we have been getting the points that we needed for the playoffs and now we can just reset ourselves and focus on the playoffs.”

On knowing the other results during the game …

“No, we were just focused to get the win or the draw and to not lose the game and focus on that. After the final whistle we heard about those results. At the game we didn’t think about it at all.”

On the mindset after going up 2-0 …

“I felt confident, but at the same time we felt that there was a lot of game to play and the Galaxy can be good and take chances on the attack. It goes both ways.”

On knowing that if the team lost that you would be out …

“No, as I said before inside the game you have no idea about the other scores and just try to focus on getting the win or the draw. It’s stupid to think about it that if you lose you need the other teams to win, so we just focused on getting the win.”

On the rollercoaster of the game …

“I don’t know, this game easily could’ve ended up 10-10. In my opinion I felt that both teams had fair enough chances to get goals in this game and luckily for us, the three was enough.

On why the team has been so successful against Portland …

“I feel like the matchup is just playing well for us. There is nothing to get scared about them. I have really good confidence about our team and what we are capable of doing. If we are playing close to the best we can I feel like we have a good chance against any of the teams.”

On when you play with the best four up front …

“If somebody scores goals, that helps the team to win. We haven’t played that many games together as a four in the whole season and now we have been building up the last few games with our chemistry and we know what others are doing and I am really enjoying playing with those guys.”

On playing for Finland and then returning for a playoff game …

“I had the same thing last year and there are many players that are going to go play national team games between the end of the regular season and the playoffs. You just go to national team camp and focus on those games and then see how it goes, then you come back and focus on the playoffs.”

On the scene in the locker room …

“It was a relief, a lot guys were too exhausted to celebrate too hard. It’s good to get to the playoffs, but that’s not our goal. We are now focused on the next game.”