Three days after his team lost a game it had nearly won, Minnesota United coach Adrian Heath had the same message for his players and supporters alike.
Keep the faith.
Inter Miami's goals in the 87th and 90th minutes Saturday wiped away striker Luis Amarilla's goal in the 65th minute and extended the Loons' current losing streak to three games.
They're also 12th in the 14-team Western Conference with a 5-8-3 record entering Wednesday's late game at LA Galaxy — and five points behind a Seattle team that currently has the seventh and final playoff spot.
"I am concerned, but there's not an awful lot wrong," Heath said. "This is not a bad team. This is a team that can compete with anybody."
He ticked off opponents — Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia, New York Red Bulls, FC Dallas — that his team has tied or beaten this season, all three on the road.
He noted his Loons still have 18 games left in a 34-game season.
"There's 50-odd points still to play for and what are we, four or five points from being in a playoff position?" Heath said in a video call from Los Angeles with reporters on Tuesday. "So I get the concern. I know people are not happy, but that's the way football is at times. You have to keep believing in what you're doing and in the group you have. That's what I'll continue to do."
The Loons started their current three-game road trip that ends in Los Angeles on Wednesday with a 2-1 loss at New England and another 2-1 loss at Miami when they allowed those two goals in three minutes just before game's end.
"Lack of concentration and before you know, you've lost a game you should have won," Heath said.
Loons star Emanuel Reynoso turned the ball over at midfield, leading to the tying goal, and Bongokuhle Hlongwane failed to clear the ball in the 18-yard box to concede the winning goal.
Inter Miami's late-game substitute Indiana Vassilev scored both goals, the second on a recycled free kick from near the right sideline.
"Hey, we're not a bad team," Heath said. "We've proven that against all them teams. I look at those performances and we are not in any of them games inferior in a lot of aspects. I've said it and I'll say it again: we've been a couple good finishes from being in a far better position that we are now."
Heath said he watched Saturday's game "multiple times" and saw his team take a 1-0 second-half lead and then had "two or three good opportunities" to take a two-goal lead.
Heath called for his players to believe and persevere. He also said the club intends to be active when the secondary transfer window opens next week on July 7.
"We've got to get ourselves out of this little hole we're in and hopefully add one or two players to give the group a burst and then go from there," Heath said.
Heath said he, his staff and his players "had a good chat" when they arrived in Los Angeles from Miami to play Galaxy, which is sixth in the West.
"We spoke about one or two things we think we might be able to do better," he said. "We will go again. I've got a lot of faith in this group. We've got good players. I know that. Sometimes you don't get out of games what you think you should or what you think you deserve. It's certainly not going to be any easier tomorrow."