CHARLOTTE – It’s that time of the season where the pressure really begins to mount. Results always a matter but the stakes are highest in the second half of the season as the playoff picture begins to shape. Interim head coach, Christian Lattanzio was very straight forward on what CLTFC needs to do remain in the playoff picture – win games.
“What we have to do is win as many games as possible and to take each game by itself. So we know that we need to win a number of games and we want to be in a position to do so. It’s not easy because this is the crucial part of the season where the big teams start to become stronger traditionally and they start to march on because they see the playoff incentive in front of them.”
The story of the season has been the team’s struggles in the final third. While it would be easy to blame the attacking players, Lattanzio believes it is not entirely up to them.
“What we are trying to do here is not just make those three work together. We believe as a group that we start defending with the strikers as well as we ask our defenders to start building the play. To create chances is not just down to the front three, it’s down to everybody being able to support the play and to create chances. And then to be in a position to finish them off.”
“In the last game we believe that we have been in the right part of the pitch, very high in a number of occasions… To arrive at the last third so many times to deliver the ball it requires a kind of job before, it doesn’t happen by chance… Obviously the last part is the most important or equally important and we need to improve that.”
Lattanzio wants the team to remain aggressive on offense but they will need to be cautious of the Houston Dynamo’s counter attacks.
“When we attack we want to push forward as many players as we can at the same time minimizing the counterattack. They are team that is really dangerous in offensive transition. They are really quick and strong to go on counter attack. So you have to find always a balance to be able to play as well as conceding as least as possible.”
With how tight the Eastern Conference is, every point from here on out matters with most teams still vying for playoffs.
“Every game from now until end of season is going to going to be difficult, there is not two ways about that because everybody is playing for the same prize.”