Home NASL & USL FC Edmonton The playoff spot is sealed, but Miller wants Eddies to finish season on high note

The playoff spot is sealed, but Miller wants Eddies to finish season on high note

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It’s a strange situation. The NASL regular season still has two weeks of games left to play, yet both FC Edmonton and the Indy Eleven know exactly who they’ll be playing in the first round of the Championship.

Each other. At Indy.

But, before we can even get to the subject of (insert Jim Mora voice here) playoffs, there’s the matter of Sunday’s home regular-season finale against Jacksonville, the team that put the stake in Miami FC’s playoff hopes with a 3-2 upset victory on Wednesday.

After the Jacksonville match, FCE finishes the season on the road in Miami.

So, how does coach Colin Miller prevent his players from looking past these two games? Indy won 3-2 over Tampa Bay Wednesday, so no they’re-mailing-it-in criticisms can be launched at the team the Eddies will face in the first week of November.

“I’m hoping the incentive for all the players is that want to be in the starting 11 for the Indy game,” said Miller.

Miller said that when professional players play at half speed or with their hearts not in the game, that’s when trouble happens.

“When players try and pace themselves, that’s when they so often get hurt. Or they start to play poorly and then they lose their place.”

Miller said he still wants FCE to finish second in the combined standings (the Eddies are two points behind Indy at the moment, each team with two games left to play).

“I want the final games of the season to be positive. The Indy game will look after itself. Reputations and standards are set all season long, not just in the playoffs. We definitely want to finish the season off on a high note.”

The Eddies will be without centre back Pape Diakite this weekend, as he serves his suspension. Miller said he has a couple of injury issues, but he won’t say who could be missing on Sunday. But keeper Matt VanOekel is back to 100 per cent, and midfielder Dustin Corea is training.

But he was pleased with the intensity shown in Thursday’s training session.

“It’s as good as we’ve looked this year. We’re in a terrific place. We know that we didn’t play very well Saturday in Minnesota (a 3-1 loss), we played poorly against a very good team. Honestly, the road trip was disappointing.”

So, the Eddies need to swing back into good form this week, so they can hit the playoffs running. Indy’s still winning games even though the places have been clinched; the Eddies would like to do so, as well.

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