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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the atmosphere at Allianz Field against Everton FC…

“I was really proud of our club for what we put on. Proud of the supporters. I know that people from Everton, they loved the occasion. They thought the facilities were magnificent, thought the crowd was unbelievable. There was a lot of positives from last night. None more so than the performance. I thought the players were excellent. The second group that came on, I was really, really pleased with them. All in all, other than Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] and Jacori’s [Hayes] injuries. Jacori’s was a bad one. Specifically it looks like he’s going to be out for the next three or four months and Rey we don’t know yet until the weekend. That was the only sort of disappointment on what was a really memorable evening for everybody.”

On how Jacori Hayes has been recently coming along…

“Yeah, it will be disappointing for him because the one thing you want to do out of them games is to take something from it like we did with the performance in the evening. But then that’s tempered by the fact that Jacori’s [Hayes] season is probably over now. It was a huge disappointment for him because we feel as though he’s just coming into a better form as well and was contributing minutes for us. That’s a huge disappointment. And Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] we’ll have a better idea how he is tomorrow.”

On guys getting experience before heading to Houston…

“I think the most important thing for the group last night was I think we have players who are really good footballers and I think last night that showed because in the first 15 minutes before he went off Rey [Emanuel Reynoso] started to dictate a little bit of stuff in the middle of the park. As I say, I thought the younger ones handled themselves really, really well because what people don’t know Everton made a lot of changes at halftime. But six of their players are Premier League veterans. Players that’ve played for Barcelona, players that’ve played in [UEFA] Champions League Finals, etc. It was great experience for a lot of our younger players and I was really pleased with what they did last night.”

On Everton playing its top guys…

That first group was probably the first group that will play against Chelsea in two weeks time in the Premier League. It was a good evening for us. Now I’m not going to get carried away on the fact that we’ve beaten a Premier League team because I do understand it’s preseason for them and I do realize the workload they will be putting on the players, but I think the fact that Frank [Lampard] was really disappointed with them and really complimentary about our group speaks volumes for the way we played.”

 On the confidence of the group heading into Houston…

“We’ve got to realize what’s got us the success in the last few weeks. It’s everybody contributing, working from the front. I think we’ve got a really good mood in the group at this moment in time. As I’ve said before, I can talk to them about trying to give them confidence but there’s nothing like actually winning games and playing well to give players confidence and they’re a confident group at this moment in time.”

On the next man up mentality with some recent injuries…

“It will have to be that. A few weeks ago we were looking… We’ve got five and two don’t go, now all of a sudden we’ve only got two. That’s how quickly it changes. But the most important thing is that’s what it means to have a good group and a good squad. I keep saying to the players I know they get frustrated when they’re not playing. I go, ‘This changes so quickly’. I always talk about Dayne St. Clair’s change. Tyler [Miller] went down with food poisoning and Dayne’s gone like that since he’s got back in. That can happen to anybody else. As you say, next man up. Let’s worry about what’s gone on, who’s being left behind. Let’s concentrate on the ones who can actually perform and help us on Saturday.”

On not taking Houston Dynamo lightly…

“No, we can’t. Playing in Houston, it’s probably only going to be about 120 degrees down there on Saturday night. It’s always a difficult place to play. I actually think their performances have been a lot better than their results. We always watch two or three of their last games. They should have won all of them. Difficult place to go. We have to contend with Mr. Quintero [Darwin Quintero] who’s been playing really, really well. Difficult game, but we go in there with a lot of confidence and if we play like we can, we can get a result.”

On what Hector Herrera brings to Houston…

“He’s been a great player, there’s no doubt. I think it was his debut, there was a full house there. You don’t normally get full houses at this moment in time in Houston. Big name, big personality and they won on the road last week. They’ll be looking to build on that, so difficult task, but we’ll be up for it.”

On Minnesota’s recent run and goal scoring…

“The biggest thing for us is – I speak about the whole season – is I don’t think there is a significant change in anything other than that we’ve been taking our opportunities when they come along. We’ve been creating chances all season. I know I was pretty much a lone voice early on when people didn’t believe when I was saying that the team’s very close to being very good. I now believe that we’re starting to take those opportunities and what’s the oldest saying in football, ‘Goals change games.’ When those opportunities come and you take them, it has a completely different effect on the game and that’s what we’re doing at this point in time.”

On those chances the players are taking…

“More importantly, I think there’s a lot more confidence within the group. I think Luis [Amarilla] struggled at first to get into his rhythm and now he’s starting to play really well. Rey’s [Emanuel Reynoso] starting to score, Fraga’s [Franco Fragapane] playing well at this moment in time and hopefully Bongi [Bongokuhle Hlongwane] can get a goal this weekend because that will help him and we’ve been really pleased with his contribution. But now he’s got to start putting some goals to that as well.”

Forward Abu Danladi

On the performance against Everton FC…

“I think that game is a testament of where the team has come to. We went through a stretch of time where it was very hard for us finding some wins and now we’ve gone on a stretch where the team is playing well, playing together. Everybody looks fit, everybody looks very, very strong. Very good team bonding. You can tell on the field that everybody looks sharp and that was a great game. Also, getting able to play and being able to score too was a great feeling. Especially against a big team like that – a historic club playing in one of the best leagues in the world, so it was very good to be able to score a goal.”

On how scoring goals effects the group as a whole…

“I think it’s very important. If the defense can trust the forwards to score they know we have to do our job too and I think it’s gotten to that point that there’s good trust between the team. They [the defense] know the forwards that are playing, anybody that’s playing, has the ability to score and the team has been scoring a lot of goals lately. It’s a very good spirit and everybody is really excited on what is going on right now with the games and how the team is playing. The defense has been doing great and so has attack, so it looks like the whole team is doing well, which is a very, very good thing.”

On the challenges that Houston Dynamo presents…

“You can’t underestimate any team no matter what season they’re having. Houston is a very tough place to play. Everybody knows that. Even though things have not been working out for them for some games, you can tell that they’re a great team. I’ve watched some of the games myself and have seen they have really good quality players. I think it’s going to be a very, very important game. Can’t go there thinking, ‘Oh maybe they are having not that great of a season so we are going to win’. We just need to go there and fight and actually want to win. Try and do what we’ve been doing here and how we’ve been doing on the road as well. See all the things we’ve been doing right and keep doing that. I think if you do that, I think it’s going to work out well for the team as it’s been going.”