As impressive as Christian Lattanzio’s MLS managerial debut was, a home victory was ultimately more of the same for Charlotte FC in their expansion season. It’s this Saturday's visit to the Columbus Crew (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+) where they can really set a new course.

Charlotte had earned only one point from seven away games before parting with Miguel Angel Ramirez late last month.

As Lattanzio attempts to try finally to earn that precious first road victory in club history, the interim head coach is pledging, like his predecessor, to try and play the same style as at home – in part because it's best for the team’s long-term development.

“I don’t want to change,” he said. “I want us to play the same, the same home and away. That takes time. As I’ve said a couple of times, we need to be humble with that. But at the same time, we’re going to go with our structure because I believe that to develop the team you need to go through a process that increases week by week, so you become more familiar … (so) they know our way of playing.”

In Columbus, that effort could include midfielder Alan Franco, who has been able to train all week with the club after his international duty with Ecuador wrapped up Saturday.

As of Thursday morning, Polish international Kamil Jozwiak had also returned, but was unlikely to start, Lattanzio said. Jozwiak's compatriot Karol Swiderski had not arrived back in Charlotte.

As for whether the rest of his team might be riding too high after a convincing 2-0 win over the New York Red Bulls on goals from 2022 MLS SuperDraft No. 1 overall pick Ben Bender and Derrick Jones, Lattanzio believes it's unlikely.

“This is really a group of players that are very clever, are intelligent, and they came back ready to work,” said the Italian.

It is a mentality that will be required to earn a result at a Columbus side that is better and offers more challenges than their record may show.

The Crew are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference – four spots and three points beneath Charlotte – and have posted a 3W-3L-0D home record at Field this campaign.

But Lattanzio suggested that belies the talent and versatility of a roster that includes midfielders Lucas Zelarayan and Darlington Nagbe, as well as converted fullback Pedro Santos.

“We know that it is going to be a challenge in many different ways,” Lattanzio said. “Because they play well, because they are organized, because they can be a physical team and we need to be able to respond to all these challenges. And we need to be prepared for all the things that they will throw at us.”

If Charlotte can start earning the occasional road win to add to their strong home record, the playoff chatter will begin. That’s fine with Lattanzio as long as that pursuit comes with perspective.

“I believe if we control what we can control, we will be with a great chance,” he said. “That’s why I don’t like to go by results, because the result is never really in (your) control, even if you play well.”