David Beckham watches Inter Miami miss out on play-offs as Phil Neville says his side ‘didn’t deserve the fans’ applause’ after slipping to their 17th defeat of the season
- Inter Miami lost 3-1 to New York City FC in the Eastern Conference on Saturday
- Two crippling winless streaks this season had crushed Miami’s play-off hopes
- Phil Neville’s side relied on other teams’ results to keep their chances alive
- But owner David Beckham watched on as the defeat meant Miami missed out
Inter Miami owner David Beckham watched on as his team slipped to their 17th defeat of the season, losing 3-1 to New York City FC.
Phil Neville’s side faced an uphill battle to make the play-offs before the game, relying on miracles from other sides to keep their hopes alive, but the loss was the final nail in the coffin of their chances.
Beckham’s MLS franchise has struggled this season as two crippling winless streaks during this term pretty much scorched Miami’s chances of making the play-offs.
David Beckham watched on as Phil Neville’s side lost 3-1 to New York City FC on Saturday
The Inter Miami chief has seen his franchise struggle this season with two winless streaks
But the Miami boss has backed his former Manchester United team-mate Neville to turn things around next season.
The former England international backs his former team-mate to turn Miami’s fortunes around
Inter Miami face a struggle after MLS bosses stripped the club of transfer money following financial irregularities surrounding the signing of Frenchman Blaise Matuidi last August.
But Neville relishes the challenge, despite being disappointed with this season’s finish.
‘I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t expect this to finish higher. So I’m disappointed at that and take responsibility for that,’ he said, via The Sun.
‘But I honestly can’t wait to attack next season as quickly as possible.
‘We’ve got great plans and this football club will continue to grow.
‘I spoke with the owners this week in terms of their expectations and their ambitions, and it hasn’t changed from day one. They want to win. They want us to be successful. They want to compete, and that’s where we are really aligned.’
Valentin Castellanos capitalized on defensive sloppiness from Miami by curling home from 18 yards to put New York ahead on 33 minutes.
Gonzalo Higuain almost gifted Neville’s team the equaliser in the first half before Nicolas Figal levelled on 56 minutes.
Valentin Castellanos (left) opened the scoring as he curled home for New York on 33 minutes
Ex-Chelsea striker Gonzalo Higuain had the best chance to equalise for Miami in the first half
Castellanos bagged his second at the end of a free-flowing move to steal back the lead before Talles Magno struck with seven minutes remaining.
‘We have the best fans and we didn’t deserve their applause at the end,’ Neville added.
‘We wanted to help create a memory for Federico and set the tone for our expectations going forward.
Following the defeat, Neville lauded Miami’s supporters as the best fans in the world
‘Nothing I saw surprised me or proved to me anything different to what I already know about this team.
‘There’s a big task ahead of us. We owed our supporters to give them a good send-off but we lost concentration and discipline.
‘Other clubs’ fans wouldn’t have hung around at the end to support us after what happened out there but their support has been unwavering.
‘In this league you get punished for the slightest lapse of concentration and you need all the players going in the right direction. You need a collective spirit but it’s going to take time.
Top-earner Higuain is considering retirement as he is one player Neville could look to shift
‘We have to create a roster with players who are more interested in the team than themselves.’
The Miami manager will look to shift top-earners Gonzalo Higuain, Rodolfo Pizarro and Matuidi with the ex-Chelsea hitman considering following his brother into retirement.
Miami travel to Eastern conference leaders New England on Saturday for the last game of the season.