Inter Miami returns to action Saturday night, three weeks after a humbling 3-0 loss to D.C. United in front of the first full home crowd in club history. Miami players and coaches have been stewing on that loss and will have a chance to redeem themselves, as they play D.C. again, this time on the road at Audi Field (8 p.m., My 33, UniMas).
Coach Phil Neville promised that his team will be more inspired and cohesive than it was before the long international break.
“I was an international manager and I loved international breaks. As a club manager, I hate international breaks,” Neville said on Thursday. “The break is too long. From the minute that D.C. game finished, it was a bitter pill to swallow.
“We went full 100 percent into making sure we are going to be successful. Players came back in to work really hard and with a focus. Not an easing up or vacation. The team I put out on Saturday will be the team that over last three weeks dedicated themselves, focused, and took accountability.”
Miami will be without playmaker Rodolfo Pizarro (hip/abductor injury) and forward Robbie Robinson (hamstring strain), both of whom played well at D.C. at the start of the 2020 season. Neville said they will be out “for the foreseeable future.”
Ola Kamara scored two goals for D.C. United when the teams played three weeks ago, so he will be a player to watch. Miami has a 2-4-2 record and D.C. is 3-5-0.
“The thing you can’t always guarantee in football is the result, that is decided in moments of brilliance, mistakes, etc.. but the one thing I can guarantee on Saturday is we’ll see an attitude to perform, work hard, work together… those are the things we’ve been working really hard on,” Neville said.
He said the coaches took time during the break to do an extensive review of the first eight games and get every player on the same fitness level. He conceded that some players were lagging.
“Hopefully, the next three games will be a really good sign of the work we’ve done,” he said. “The players didn’t really have much time off. We realized some of the areas some of our players needed to work harder, be fitter and stronger. We had some harsh words, some honest conversations and hopefully we will see the results.”
Inter Miami is back home Friday June 25 against Orlando City.