bleedCrimson.net Weekly Coach Needham Interview :: 09/30/10

bleedCrimson.net: Heading into conference play on Friday, give me your thoughts on the first half of the season?
Michael Needham: First half has been good. To come out 6-2-2 is good. The two games that we tied I felt like we could have won but other than that the results were about where they should be. The two losses on our schedule, we lost to two good teams and we learned from both of those which is the important thing. We actually took something from it. We did just lose a game, we took something from it. Great example was this past weekend, Friday we lose to a good Northern Colorado team and then go out and play much much better against Wyoming on Sunday and get that win. I think we learned a lot and now we've got to apply that in conference.

bc.net: What were some of the goals that you set for the team for the first half of the season and which ones did you meet?
MN: I think with a young group it's important for me not to overwhelm these guys with too many goals and too many expectations and things like that. The biggest thing we talked about was it being a situation where we were playing preseason and the goal was to be playing our best soccer by the time we got to Nevada. We still haven't peaked yet and I think we still have a lot of really good stuff in front of us. I think we've achieved the goals we set for them and now the goal is pretty simple, just take care of business and get to the conference tournament.

bc.net: This is a little bit different weekend for you going on the road on Friday and then coming back home on Sunday. How will you manage that situation?
MN: It really becomes more like an away weekend even the home game on Sunday becomes more of an away game because you're traveling to play at home. You approach it the same way. Obviously the Friday game is important, you try to get points on Friday and then try to get your body ready to play on Sunday and that's the biggest challenge in college soccer. We'll approach it the way we would an away weekend just like we did last week.

bc.net: What is Nevada's style of play and how will you approach that game strategically?
MN: Nevada is a good team. They play a little risky so they'll play with three in the back, they play a 3-5-2, three in the back, five midfielders and two forwards. That matches pretty well up for them with our center mids, they'll have three in the middle. Really the key for us will be getting the ball into the forwards quickly to play 3 v. 3 against their backs. It'll definitely be an attacking game.

bc.net: On Sunday you'll return to Las Cruces to play Utah State what is their style of play?
MN: Utah State is a very good team. They play soccer. They try to knock it around and play the game a little bit. I think that suits us and playing at home against them is very important. They're very tough in their own place. For us to have them at home is a very good thing. They have dangerous players but if we shut down their dangerous players, then I think we have dangerous players too.

I think both games this weekend are a great challenge and I think both are winnable games that we can get points from. We look forward to both of them.