Head Coach Ronny Deila has revealed his delight that a good crowd is expected for Wednesday night’s Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal first leg vs. Tigres.
With tickets for the lower bowl of Red Bull Arena snapped up by supporters excited for City’s first last eight clash in the tournament, Deila believes that the atmosphere could make all the difference.
NYCFC are taking on a side who’ve made the Champions League finals for three years out of the last four years, so is under no illusions that his side are slight underdogs, but he’s backing his team to perform.
Deila told reporters at his press conference: “It’s great news, I’m happy the supporters will be here - that our fans show up and support us. They’re going to be so important for us and we're just looking forward to get out tomorrow and play because I think it's going to be a great game between two good teams and a great atmosphere.”
Ronny continued: “As I said before, we're looking forward to the game. This is a big game for us. Of course, Tigres is the favorites but we know what we can do when we are at our best and we will do everything we can to be there tomorrow.”
Ronny was left frustrated by a 1-0 road defeat to Toronto on Saturday and he’s called upon his side to raise their “bottom level” in order to advance to the Champions League semifinals.
“Of course Tigres is a very good football team,” Ronny said, “The Mexican league is good, so it's going to be tough but at the same time you see opportunities.
“We need for our bottom level to be higher, because our top level is good. It’s about performance - when you meet good teams, they punish you much more when you do stupid mistakes. If you make mistakes, then they will score. So that's the big difference.”
Taty Castellanos was alongside his manager at the press conference and spoke on his competitive friendship with Héber.
The Argentine U-23 international said: “I think it's part of soccer. You know, when I come in, when I got the opportunity to play, I think I have to play as best as possible, but it's good to have that competition, you know, right now Héber’s playing, but we have a great competition between us. And I think that's really good.
“We're very good friends but I have to keep training and training well so that when I do get the opportunity to come in, I play well.”
Valentin also revealed that playing at Red Bull Arena is a comfortable situation for the players, having experience from past Hudson River Derby matches, as well as the second leg vs. AD San Carlos.
Taty added: “We’ve played here before and we do feel comfortable. We also played here last year against the Red Bulls and in the last round, so we're comfortable with the stadium. We know that our fans are great fans and they are coming out.”
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