New York City Football Club Head Coach Ronny Deila is prepared for a tough battle against Philadelphia Union on Saturday.
The two teams met in the Eastern Conference Final last season in a game that saw NYCFC emerge 2-1 winners en route to collecting MLS Cup. Now facing each other for the first time since that tense affair at Subaru Park, Deila revealed his side is prepared for the challenge that awaits them.
“We want to win and that’s always tough when you play Philadelphia,” Deila said. “They are a physical team, they run a lot. We are the same. It’s going to be a tough battle. We are ready to beat them again. That's what we want, but we need a top performance tomorrow to do that. What’s been said before I'm sure he was not very happy after the game [in the playoffs] and it's easy to say things that you're not happy about afterwards. I know how those kind of situations are straight after the game - in a final. You can be angry.”
Saturday’s game at Yankee Stadium will also conclude a busy start to the campaign for NYCFC as they continue to participate in both MLS and Concacaf Champions League play. The team will be afforded a two-week break after the meeting with the Union and Deila confirmed it is an extra bonus that the team finishes this run at home.
“It's important to get these 14 days afterward,” he said. “We are warriors, we are fighters. We are going to fight through the game tomorrow and we are going to be ready - I could see the team is ready. After that, we have 14 days and we will give the players some days off to recharge and make ourselves ready for an exciting April and May.
“We love to play at home but it’s about the performance in the end and we know we are strong there. We want to keep performing and winning and we love to be in front of our fans. Of course there's an extra bonus to end this period in our own home ground.”