CHARLOTTE – Interim head coach Christian Lattanzio’s tenure started out in dream fashion with a 2 – 0 win against conference rivals, New York Red Bulls. The team didn’t have much time to prepare new concepts under Lattanzio in preparation for the Red Bulls but Lattanzio believes his players went above and beyond what was expected.
“I was really pleased with the way the boys played against Red Bulls because we tried to put in place a couple of different things. It’s normal, every coach has a different interpretation of even the same system of play. So, I wanted to give a couple of points and the boys did it even better than I thought.
“They were great during the week, we didn’t have a lot of time to prepare it and they did it so well... but again it’s a process, it takes time. The players here, I find them clever and focused on what they need to do. And I am very confident in them, I believe in them one hundred percent.”
Spirits are high after the big win, but it hasn’t detracted from the intensity the team has approached training this week.
“The intensity has been good from even first day that we came back to prepare for Red bulls. This group of guys continue to play and train with intensity, which is what I like. They keep being themselves.
“As I told you in the past, I love this group of guys, it’s really a pleasure to work with them. Obviously, after a win, there is always a good mood. But as I’ve said, it’s important to put things into perspective. It’s a marathon not a sprint and we need to stay humble but at the same time focused and ambitious.”
Charlotte FC’s first encounter with the Columbus Crew dates all the way back to preseason. It was a match that was feistier than what you would normally see in preseason. There was a scuffle between players but Lattanzio isn’t focused on the previous animosity, just on the match ahead.
“This is something that can happen on the pitch and it was preseason, it’s the past. We know that they are a team that is well organized, they have a good coach, and is a team that has a number of good player that have been successful in this league and internationally.
“So we know it will be a challenge in many different ways, because they play well, because they are organized, but can also be a physical team and we need to be able to respond to all these challenges. We need to be prepared for all the things that Columbus will throw at us.”