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Head Coach Adrian Heath

On the back-to-back losses and the upcoming match versus Portland…

“It’s one of them situations that you analyze the game. We had five minutes of madness. The goals were all avoidable, I felt. But then you look at the entirety of the game, we actually played well this weekend. First half, I thought we were the better team. Second half, they obviously started to take more chances on the counterattack and they gave themselves opportunity but all three goals were avoidable. The lads kept going. I didn’t think we deserved anything from the Real Salt Lake game. I thought, this weekend, the scoreline was a bit harsh.”

On not having scored in the first half against FC Dallas…

“Being at home, and when you play a really good counterattacking team, which [FC] Dallas are, you know that once they [FC Dallas] get the first goal, then you’re going to be susceptible on the break. But that wasn’t really the case. They had some breakways late on us as we were chasing the game but we conceded the three goals were such a short period and a quick period. It was like the ol’ knockout punch and then you’re dazed for a few minutes. Then we got ourselves composed again and started to play. I can’t get away from the fact that we conceded six goals the last two away games. I think we’re going to have to win at least two more in the next five to get ourselves in the playoffs. We know what we’ve got to do. Our last 13 games, we’ve taken 26 points, and there’s only one team taking more points than us in the last 13 games. We have to look at some of the positives.”

On looking down the stretch to the next five games and not dwelling on the past…

“Exactly. Obviously, you don’t forget it completely. You analyze it, you pick up some of the good stuff, you emphasize the bad stuff, have a chat with them and then move on. We’ve played 13 other games and when we’re there, we’re down to five. We know what we need to do. We’ve got a couple of home games to maybe try and do it. We might have to go and win one on the road but as we’ve proved this year, this has been our best year in the league for winning on the road. We’re more than capable of doing that.”

On the Portland Timbers and their most dangerous aspect…

“Playing at home, they’re [Portland Timbers] always traditionally strong. They’ve got a big atmosphere there, big crowd. I think their crowd will understand the importance and the meaning of the game. Three or four wins on the spin they've had. They’ve gone from people thinking ‘is this the year they don’t make the playoffs’ to suddenly now they’ve got themselves in a really good spot. It’s always a bit lively there from when we’ve played there. I don’t expect it to be any different this weekend.”

On Sebastián Blanco and what makes him such a talented player…

“He [Sebastián Blanco] does the hard things the easiest way. He scores goals, he makes goals. His assist ratio to his opportunities in the final third is hugely, hugely impressive. If he has time and space, invariably, he’ll show you he’s a good player. That’s not always the case. Good players, when they have time and space, show you because they pick their correct pass at the right time, the right weight and that’s what he does. [Dairon] Asparilla always seems to come alive during this time of year. I think that Yimmi Chará has finally settled in and the kid, [Santiago] Moreno is now suddenly starting to look like the player they thought they were probably buying. They’ve got a lot of threats. We generally have good games… I always look forward to playing there and I’m looking forward to the weekend.”

On missing on Franco Fragapane for the next two matches…

“It’s not ideal, is it? We’d prefer to have him available. You look at around the league, there’s a lot of big, important players missing games because we’re at that stage of the season where people are accumulating six, seven, eight, nine bookings. This could have been avoided. The second half was stupid. I said that Saturday. I have not changed my mind. There’s no reason for him [Franco Fragapane] to do what he did. And he’s got a two game ban rather than a one so it was like a double-whammy, but nothing we can do about it now.”

Defender Kemar Lawrence

On how the team will rebound from a difficult loss at home…

“At some point, you know we were going to lose one or maybe two, especially going into the, this is the end of the season. Everybody is oiled right now, everybody is ready. Everybody know their team and what their team is about and what they want by now. People are fighting to get into playoff spots. It’s just about us just securing our spot. I don’t feel like we’re nervy. I don’t feel like we’re over-confident. I just felt like it was just five minutes that we were like ‘Wow.’ I don’t think we need to do anything special. I just think we need to, if you watch the first half, just bring that same energy, that same enthusiasm that we had and take it from there.”

On what it feels like having a half where chances aren’t being converted…

“It is part of the game. Do you remember, earlier this season, when we weren’t scoring and we were like ‘alright when are we going to start to score?’ You go through different transitions in the season and sometimes you get till late in the season and your guys might not score off the chances that you saw them put away last week. It’s just a part of it. Sometimes you miss a couple, then you need to score. You just need to keep oiling the machine and know that this is the time of the season where everything matters. Everything that we did before, all of that is gone and forgotten right now. If we don’t grab points now, if we don’t get ourselves ready mentally, it might go like this first playoff game…We’re out and we miss it by a point.”

On if having confidence is what is key to moving forward in the season…

“It definitely has a lot to do with confidence. If we show up, show up being that team that is ready for anything, everybody with that mindset that we’re playing 95 minutes, 98 minutes… If we can show up with that confidence, that personality, I feel like we will run people over. Because if we look at every team and we can’t find a team that’s better than us, player for player, but people are ready to work now than they were before. We just have to show up.”

On the coming games being as intense as playoff matches…

“Every game right now, you look at it and you’re like, ‘Alright, you going to Portland. You’re like alright, it’s going to be a fight down there.’ Then you’re back home now who do you got? It’s like ‘LA [LAFC].’ I’m like alright. It’s just about, right now, for me, it’s a fun part, this the best part of the season, personally for me. This is the fun part. This is where I show what I’m worth. Show what I came here to do and I do it to the best of my ability.”