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Clint Peay Wins 1st MLS Match as New England Revolution Interim Head Coach
“Yeah, look, a little bit selfless for me. I think great, but I’m just here to help the team be successful at this point and I think more importantly, just we needed the win as a team.”
Saturday night was one to remember for the New England Revolution and interim head coach Clint Peay. After a drought that saw New England go about a month without a win, the Revolution were able to secure three points against Charlotte FC.
But the win was more than points. It was Peay’s first as interim head coach and first in MLS.
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After the match, Peay was more concerned regarding the importance of the win for the team than reflecting on his personal milestone.
“Yeah, look, a little bit selfless for me. I think great, but I’m just here to help the team be successful at this point and I think more importantly, just we needed the win as a team. And I think for the players, I think getting over that hump was big,” the interim head coach said.
While Peay didn’t want to talk about getting his first win, his players were happy to praise him. Matt Polster has been impressed with the interim head coach.
“I think he’s done himself a good job,” Polster told The Blazing Musket. “He’s put us in a situation to win. He’s put a good team out there this week and we have a good system. Hats off to him for putting us in a good situation, a good position to get his first win.”
During the drought, New England had struggled to maintain leads and close out games. Late goals against Minnesota United and Austin FC saw the Revs drop points which have become crucial in a tight Eastern Conference race.
Against Charlotte, this nearly happened again. After a Noel Buck blast gave the Revs a lead, New England saw Charlotte strike back in the 84th minute.
It seemed like the club was doomed to drop points once again and see the drought continue. Dave Romney had other plans as he headed home a ball from DeJuan Jones to regain the lead for the Revs.
Considering the club’s struggles, Peay was impressed with the resilience from his side.
“The resilience. Obviously, we’ve been through a lot,” Peay said when asked about what impressed him about New England’s performance. “We’ve given up late goals. Just finding a way to get the result tonight, is the thing that impressed me the most because it would be pretty easy for this group at this point, given the way some games have gone, maybe to, you know, put their heads down and they kept fighting.”
Youngster Noel Buck added that the win showed the spirit of the team and that the players on the roster are still together and united.
“It really shows the spirit of the team,” Buck said about the result. “We’ve gone through some hard times recently but we’re still together and a collective.”
This hasn’t been an issue that just Peay has noticed. Players realize that they have struggled to close out games and can’t exactly pinpoint why that is the case.
”Yeah we seem to give up late goals,” Polster told The Blazing Musket when asked about the result. “I don’t know what the situation or the issue is amongst the team but we just have to focus a lot more late in the game and work on just getting clean sheets but preventing goals late in games as well.”
So it was an important win for Peay and the club on Saturday but fans will be hoping that it is just the start. As a former Revolution head coach used to pontificate, as long as you are hot entering the start of the MLS Playoffs you have a chance.