Wednesday’s win over Orange County SC was a thrilling 2-1 come-from-behind result that ensured Republic FC would be hot on first place Reno 1868 FC’s tail heading into this weekend’s massive matchup between the two regional rivals.
A win on Saturday night at Papa Murphy’s Park would make it seven straight victories for the boys in Old Glory Red and would be a new all-time record for consecutive wins during regular season play. A win would also propel Mark Briggs’ men into the top spot in Group A ahead of 1868 FC heading into the final stretch of the USL Championship campaign.
But before both sides square up against each other for the third of four meetings this season, time to check in and see what’s on the minds of the gaffer and a Republic FC defender whose string of recent positive performances have helped to put his side in prime position to potentially claim first place this weekend.
Mark Briggs' men are unbeaten in their last seven fixtures.
On the team’s recent win over Orange County…
“It was a pleasing result against a very good team. It was just nice to see the reaction when RoRo was given the red card. It was almost as if the players showed that belief, that courage to still play that style of football that we wanted to play a man down. And then when they came over for the water break, you could see in their eyes there’s a difference. Everyone was focused, everyone was engaged, and it came to fruition. Villyan produced a big play at a big moment. You have to give credit to Jaime Villarreal as well who came on the field and I thought he was exceptional when he came on. He made a huge difference.”
On the feeling of winning games late in dramatic fashion…
“After the fact, it’s a great feeling to win a game like that. I just wish from a coaching perspective, I would love to be three goals up, four goals up and just be able to relax for one game. Just one game! But, at the same time, it’s good that the group is going through adversity. We’re going through difficult periods, difficult moments, which is what you face in playoff games. I’m happy with what we’re going through and I’m happy with the reactions we’re producing.”
On despite the current winning streak if this team can continue improving...
“Yeah, 100%. I was talking to a friend this morning and I told them that it’s great we’re winning, but we still have another 30%, we haven’t touched the levels that this group is capable of which is pleasing but ultimately, we have to get there. If you want to win, you have to reach your peak at the right moments and the right moments are playoffs and on the run-in, now. We can continue this form and go into the playoffs with a good frame of mind then it can only be beneficial for us.”
On the team’s recent performances….
“It speaks volumes to the character of the team that we have this season. The past few results have put us through quite a bit of adversity, coming from behind against Portland and then giving one away late in Portland and then coming back and winning and then last night coming from behind. We’re playing really well and we’re getting the results so now we just need to complete a full 90 [minutes]. So that’s the goal now, just completing a full 90.”
On RoRo not being available for the Reno match…
“It’s definitely a big loss but it’s next man up. We have a deep squad in a lot of positions so next man up. Whoever it is, they’ll be ready, and the team will be ready.”
On if there’s a target on the team’s back having beat Reno twice in 2020…
“We’re the only team to take points off Reno this season so they’re going to come here with a lot of energy. They’re going to know we played midweek and I don’t believe they played last night so yeah, there’s a little bit of a target on our back but we’re ready. We know they’re ahead of us, so I think the target is on their back a little bit too.”
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