|Jeffries warms to task of getting Charlotte Independence on track|
|Coach is 1-0-1 since taking over for McGuinness|
|Published Wednesday, June 26, 2019 7:21 pm|
|The Charlotte Independence, who won just one game over the first 10 games of 2019, have gone 1-0-1 since Mike Jeffries took over as head coach on June 12.|
Mike Jeffries has worn two hats for the Charlotte Independence. Now he wears them simultaneously.
Jeffries, the inaugural coach in franchise history, spent four seasons at the helm before the club shifted him to general manager in December when Jim McGuinness was hired. While expectations for McGuinness were high ahead of the Independence’s fifth USL campaign, it turned to Charlotte’s worst start in franchise history. Club President Jim McPhilliamy announced McGuinness’ departure on June 12, giving Jeffries the reigns to a one-win team.
“Everybody with the organization was frustrated with the results, and how we were playing,” Jeffries said on the Sports Charlotte podcast. “Always the first thought is, ‘how do we make it better? What do we need to do?’”
Charlotte had nine points in 14 games when Jeffries took over. They earned four points in the two games since and a season-high four goals in his first game back June 15 against Birmingham. The Jacks secured a point in Louisville with a 1-all draw. Over these two games, they have outscored opponents 5-2. At 2-7-7 with 13 points and 14th in the Eastern Conference, the Jacks host Memphis (2-7-5, 16th in the East with 11 points) on June 29.
Midseason runs have defined Jeffries’ time with the club. In 2015, they went on a 12-game unbeaten run, followed by two six-game unbeaten streaks in 2016. Their 2017 12-game unbeaten run consisted of eight wins and four draws between June 10 and Aug. 9, which remains a franchise record. Last season, they went seven games unbeaten between Sept. 1 and Oct. 6.
“Taking over in the middle of the year is a different situation,” Jeffries said. “We’re clearly in a spot where we need points to push up the table. We do need to put together a run, but in that, we’re still trying to change the system and style of play to what’s more my way of doing it. There is a pretty big dichotomy to how the team will play with me versus with [McGuinness]. While we’re going through that, it’s a little bit of a, I won’t say mini-preseason, but learning a different system, and a different style of play.”
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