Postgame Quotes | #CINvMIN
© Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Postgame Quotes | #CINvMIN

Presented by:   Star Tribune

MINNESOTA UNITED HEAD COACH ADRIAN HEATH

On if he was ready to be content with taking one point away from this game …
“Yeah. Yeah, I was. Trust me. Winning at home, you have the pressure to try and win a game. Away from home, you get a point, you should be pleased with it. It’s never easy to win on the road. So, for us to pinch it at the end … I thought we were the better team in the second half. I thought the first 15, 20 minutes, we started slow, were a little bit sloppy in possession. But, after that, when you look at how many opportunities we created, you know, in the end, we probably just about deserved to win the game.”

On if he was able to follow the ball around the box for the goal …
“No, we just … Obviously, something we’ve been having a go with Boxy [Boxall] for a long time. He actually got on the end. It was a good header. But, we were pleased for Aaron [Schoenfeld] because, great kid. Comes in every day. Trains to his maximum. Really good teammate as well, you know, he’s pleased for other people when they do well. So, nice little bit of a reward for all the hard work that he puts in.”

On how big of a reward this win is for everyone considering what this squad has been through this season and the past couple of weeks …
“Big! You know, we’ve done alright of late. Even the point against Houston. People forget we scored two really good goals. And, as I said, I didn’t make much of a song and dance about it, but, I knew how difficult that game was going to be. And, we’ll be better for tonight with another huge game coming up. You look at the league table, if we were to pick three points up in the week, you know, it’s looking very, very good. And, when I consider what we’ve been through. The amount of players that we’ve had injuries. The amount of changing that we’ve had to do with the formation, mainly the formation in the group. You know, it’s terrific. Kudos to the players, really, because they’ve stuck to the task in what’s been a really troubling year.”

On being a player like Aaron Schoenfeld training all week just to wait and see if the game at the weekend will bring a fleeting chance like tonight’s presented …
“Yeah. And, you have to believe. Being part of a management team is, sometimes it’s easier to try and keep them guys going. The guys who train all week and maybe don’t get much at the weekend. So, you know, you have to believe. And, I always say it to the guys that are on the bench. You have to believe that the next opportunity is going to be a turning point for you. You get on the team. You play well enough to score, to win the game and maybe keep your place. But, you know, it becomes challenging when you don’t get the reward at the end of the week when you don’t play. That’s the motivation that comes from within. And, as I said before, Aaron [Schoenfeld] has got bundles of that. He comes in every single day. Works to his maximum. And, that’s a little bit of reward for him.”

On what he started to find after the first 20 minutes of the game in the team …
“I thought we started stepping to the ball with a little bit more aggression. I thought we started to actually put people out of their comfort zone. You know, I always say to the players if it was about just having a nice game of football, I could still play. But, you have to make… Whether you play a high-pressing game, you know, a mid-block or a low-block, once it comes into that, you have to be on the front foot. And, I think after the first 15, 20 minutes, we were. And, I thought we were excellent second half. Can’t really remember Dayne [St. Clair] coming up with anything that he shouldn’t have saved. So, it was a good second half performance and a huge win in the context of where we are in the season.”

On what was behind the decision to call on Aaron Schoenfeld …
“Well, no. It’s just fresh legs. At the end of the day, Kei [Kamara] is 36 years of age. You can’t expect him, on the plastic as well, it’s tough on the joints. We know and we knew that we were going to have to use him at times and that’s what Aaron [Schoenfeld] has got to be aware of. At any stage, he could be called upon to come on, and he’s done that tonight and delivered.”

On the Minnesota Gopher game having precedence over the Minnesota United game tonight among media members …
“Oh, the Gophers have taken precedence, have they? Okay. I get it! Hey, you win a game on the road, I’ve got one guy talking to me. Hey, that’s nice!”

 

MINNESOTA UNITED DEFENDER MICHAEL BOXALL

On the celebration at the end…
“I think I was just really delighted for Aaron [Schoenfeld]. Obviously all the work he’s put in and all the cameos and stuff he’s had to deal with, like little time off the bench where it’s not easy coming into a game where it’s just good for him to get his first goal for the club.”

On getting his head on the ball…
“Yeah, if my head was a little bit bigger I think it might have gone in. As long as it ends up in the back of the net there from somebody, I’m happy. Happy to take away the three points tonight.”

On seeing where the ball went after he headed it…
“No, I probably closed my eyes when the ball was like a foot away from my face. Yeah, so it’s a case of inches whether goes inside the post, inside the goal, or out for a goal kick. All pretty fine lines.”

On if they would have taken the tie…
“We typically wouldn’t have been happy with just a point. I think with these away games, with the travel, and always the first half – we’ve always been a bit slow out the blocks and then always kind of come on strong in the second half and I think that was definitely the case tonight. We had a few more chances, I thought we controlled ball a bit better in the final third. Limited them to very little in our defensive third. We knew this was a game where we could get the three points, so anything less than that would’ve been pretty disappointing for us.”

On the importance of the three points…
“Yeah we kind of let ourselves down in a few of our home games recently. So, we got to put more effort into games like this. Yeah, I think once again, defended solidly as we have most of the year and kind of came to life towards the end there. Got a little bit lucky with that set piece at the end as well.”

On the roles players like Aaron Schoenfeld have on the team…
“Yeah exactly, that’s what he’s done since the first day he came in preseason. Obviously we saw when he came on against Kansas City what he’s capable of. He really turned that game around for us. So, we know he’s capable of it. Everyone is just delighted for him that he got his first goal and he got a little shower when he came back into the locker room tonight.

“Yeah, whatever anyone was drinking ended up on Aaron.”

On if he has watched the goal back…
“I haven’t seen it back yet, no. I’ll have to watch it to see how good it actually was or if it was just lucky from his end as well.”

On getting a victory like this and if he’s ever been through something like this year before…
“No, nothing remotely close to this. I think as we come down to the season end, the three points just means a whole lot more. Kind of put ourselves in a little bit of a hole, but then obviously teams around us are dropping points as well, which meant it wasn’t as deep as it felt for us when we’re dropping points at home. It’s good to get the three points today.”

On the COVID testing and positive tests…
“Yeah it wasn’t nice. So, it’s nice for our noses to get a rest. We’re happy that all the guys are back healthy and feeling good and back training with us. That period, of four or five days, when we weren’t at the training ground was tough and the preparation for the Houston match was less than ideal. So, it’s good to have this week of preparation and good to have those guys healthy and back and looking forward to getting back to work on Monday.”

On looking back at the points this season, and if there is a certain game that he looks back on…
“I hope not. I think we have a couple more games at home, I think we can take care of business with everyone feeling healthy, with us having a full squad to select from. I think we can build on this performance and these three points and then pick up quite a few more points down the stretch that we can climb the table and hope we get a home playoff game.”

On if there’s any specific game to look back on… 
“Yeah, I mean, you can say that about any game. You could say that about the last-minute comeback in Kansas City. Or just because it’s most recent, I don’t think you’ll think it’s the most important three points right now.”

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