New York City Football Club Head Coach Ronny Deila has challenged his players to match the intensity of their upcoming opponents San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday.
The Quakes travel to New York under the guidance of interim head coach Alex Covelo following the departure of Matias Almeyda. Covelo led San Jose to a 4-3 win against Seattle Sounders during their last MLS outing, and ahead of Sunday’s game Deila has asked his players to match San Jose’s determination on the field.
“Obviously it’s a bit difficult but they haven't been so different from what they were before,” Deila said of the team’s tactical approach under Covelo. “I've seen their last game when they beat Seattle – they’re a very good, aggressive team. There are a lot of legs in the team, they're aggressive in pressing. They press man against man almost all over the pitch, and maybe there will be some changes to that, but this is going be a totally different game than we had against Real Salt Lake and Toronto. It’s going to be more of a Philadelphia, Red Bull game, and that's something we have to be up for. We have to match that intensity, we have to match that fight if we’re going to get three points.”
Sunday’s clash will also represent the third of five consecutive home games for the Boys in Blue, with Deila revealing that the consistency of home has benefitted his players mood and morale.
“It’s very important,” Deila said of the stretch at home. “As I said before, we've been three months on the road and now we've been at home for some time. You can see on the pitch, I saw in preseason, and in the beginning of the Champions League there's a lot of energy and happiness - that’s when we are dangerous to play against.”