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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the match versus Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night…

“Poor. Defensively, I thought we didn’t help ourselves with our defensive defending in the box. When you concede two goals inside the six yard box virtually, and you’ve got three defenders, it’s generally not a good situation. We spoke about it, we’ll move on. We’ve lost two games of 12. Let’s look at the bigger picture. And we haven’t got time to dwell on it. We’ve got one of the most important games of the season to look forward to, and that’s what we’ll do.”

On the game vs FC Dallas being the most important match of the season…

“Possibly. I think we’ve put ourselves, with the run that we’ve had, as I say, two defeats in 12, has put us in a really good spot. I’m sure there’s 11 teams below us that would rather be where we are. We need a couple wins between now and the end of the season, I think, to give us a good chance, maybe a little bit more to have a home field advantage in the playoffs. Tomorrow is a huge game with six to go. Put a little bit of breathing space between us and [FC] Dallas and we’ll see where we are but we know it’s going to be a difficult game.”

On the psychological advantage of a win against Dallas for the group…

“I think we keep the run going. It’s just another game after, you know, what’s left. Then it’s becoming desperate for a lot of teams to catch us. They have to, virtually, some of them, go undefeated between now and the end of the season to do that, if we were to get a result tomorrow. There’s a lot on the line for both teams.”

On the strategies to get a result from FC Dallas on Saturday_…_

“The one thing that we know, that front three or four, depending which way they go with [Alan] Velasco, [Jesus] Ferreira, [Paul] Arriola… Is it [Sebastian] Lletget making the fourth or [Paxton] Pomykal? They’re a very, very good attacking team. I think there’s opportunities for us to exploit their defensive shape but they are very, very good in attacking areas and on the counterattack so we’ll have to be mindful of that.”

On the FC Dallas shape and its effects on Minnesota United’s…

“No, I think there’s certain fundamentals when you play against a 4-3-3 that you have to take care of. We’ve been through them this morning. We’ve showed [the group] a lot of video where we think it will help us. The way that we set up, starting with the guys at the front of the field. It’s going to be a big game for us but something that we’re going to have to play well to win.”

On containing Jesus Ferreira…

“It’s difficult. He’s got really good movement. He’s really smart. He’s a good finisher. He’s got a little pace. It’s concentration again. You’ve got to be, certainly when we’re attacking, we’ll have to be aware of… they leave three out at times so we’ll have to be aware of the counterattack because pace and movement is very difficult to contain.”

Defender Michael Boxall

On the group after the defeat at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday…

“Obviously pretty down about that. It’s not the performance that we expect from ourselves, even though we did make a few changes. We need to regroup, get together again and get back to what we’ve done the previous two-three months that have put us in the position that we’re in.”

On FC Dallas being the biggest matchup of the season…

“We’ve worked our asses off to put ourselves in the position that we’re in and we can’t let that slip like we kind of have. The last two performances have kind of reminded us, when we do drop our standards just that little, tiny bit, that we do hurt ourselves. It’s good to get those reminders now so that we can get it going the last stretch of the season and into playoffs.”

On the experience of playing in everchanging league to clinch a playoff spot…

“I mean this is the part of football that we enjoy. You want to be playing in games that have a lot at stake. A few of the games in the last few, the last month or so, have certainly felt like that. Away at Nashville and at home to Austin have kind of, have felt kind of like playoff-type games. Those are the situations that we need to put ourselves in if we want to do something this year. We’ve kind of took our foot off the gas a little bit the last two weeks. We need to put that right heading into the busiest part of the season.”

On how much the group will take from previous playoff experience into the coming playoffs…

“I think last year we kind of fell flat. We want to make sure we’ve got a home playoff game for our fans. It’s been a while since they saw one in-person. We need to make sure we get that. We’re kind of built for that. Obviously, Bakaye [Dibassy] is a big loss for us. Any time we’ve had any sort of suspension or injury, everyone has collectively kind of stepped up. We need to do that again to get another run going.”

On playing with Brent Kallman…

“Ever since I came in here in 2017, he’s always been there when available and always gives his all. I’m happy to roll with him. We both know each other’s game pretty well but it’s not just about us as a centerback pairing or a back-four. Our whole team, we’ve gotta buy in and that’s what gets us clean sheets. That’s what helps us win games, when the full team is buying into that defensive philosophy. If we get that going, we know what we can do with the ball.”

On keeping the FC Dallas contained on the attack…

“When we went to their place, we were aware of where their strengths lie and kind of nullified those pretty well. We’re just doing that again but up the intensity. With the ball, we can still… there’s still a bit we can improve on. If we’re switched on, with how they are in transition, then that’ll go a long way in getting the three points for us.”

On getting the better of Jesus Ferreira as a centerback…

“If you can slow him down with running the ball and also… it’s not just a one or two-man job picking up [Jesus] Ferreira. He makes runs late off the ball. Denying that service, making [FC] Dallas serve the ball into areas where we have numbers or areas where they’re not comfortable. It’s going to be a full 11-man job to stop them. They’ve got good players around him so it’s not just Ferreira too.”

On preparing for the sporting cast around Jesus Ferreira…

“It’s everyone buying in. Everyone working their butts back on defensively. As soon as you pay attention to one or two guys, they have that third or fourth guy that can pop up so it’s not a one or two-person thing.”