Maxime Chanot says the New York City squad are fueled by the desire to delight the City faithful in this weekend’s Hudson River Derby.
The Boys in Blue cross the river to face Red Bulls on Saturday, looking to return to winning ways after a tough run on the road.
With local pride on the line, as well as a vital three points, Chanot says the players are fully aware of the importance of the fixture, and are determined to reward the fans’ unwavering loyalty with a day to remember at Red Bull Arena.
“It’s an extra motivation,” he stated. “Obviously, we play every game for the fans, but we know this Derby means a lot for them.
“We can’t let them down. I’m talking about myself but I’m sure the other players will say the same: once you step out on a pitch when you know you’re going to play against your real rivals, the New York Red Bulls, you all do that for the fans.
“They’re going to be important this weekend, and we will not let them down.
“We know the tension about this game, we know what the fans expect from us, so I can tell you something: we're going to be ready to compete against them, and we're going to be ready to get the three points.”
Though Chanot asserts the squad fully understand the magnitude of the fixture, the defender believes the best way for the team to triumph is to try and overcome the emotion of the occasion and focus on the task at hand.
On the back of a challenging run of form, the center-back also believes a win in Harrison could prove the catalyst for an upturn in fortunes for the Boys in Blue.
“There is not a difference for how we’re going to prepare this game,” he added.
“Don't get me wrong – we know this is a special game, especially for the fans, especially for this Club, but we're going to prepare this game the same way we prepare the other games, because the most important thing is not about who we're going to play, but what the score is going to be.
“We know we lost the last games, and now it's important to bounce back, so against New York Red Bulls or whoever team, it’s going to be the same for the players, and we're going to step onto the pitch to make sure we get the three points.
“New York Red Bulls, Atlanta, Nashville, whoever… it is a football game. We have a job, and the job for us is to win the game.
“The team mentality is good. Obviously, as players, we are very disappointed about the last three results. We know that we let down the Club, and the fans again, and that's not something normal for this Club.
“We know we messed up, and now the focus is to bounce back. The atmosphere inside the changing room is great – we support each other, the togetherness is there.
“It’s the perfect opportunity to go back on the right way. We went in the same situation last year when we lost a few games in a row, and we bounced back with the Atlas game [in the Campeones Cup] and the New York Red Bulls game.
“They’re always special games, and if we can get the three points, I think it’s going to be a good opportunity for us to bounce back, and to start a few games where we can get points back.
“The key will be to win against the New York Red Bulls, and I believe if we can get the three points against them, we're going to be back on the right track.”
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