Nick Cushing | "Everyone Is Desperate To Play." 


Nick Cushing has praised his side's culture and levels of intensity in training.

New York City FC enjoyed an impressive 3-2 win against Toronto FC on Saturday night thanks to goals from Santiago Rodríguez, Malachi Jones, and Andrés Perea.

The first of three games in seven days, next up for City is a midweek clash against the Philadelphia Union at Subaru Park on Wednesday night. The Boys in Blue will then finish the week with the first Hudson River Derby of the season against the Red Bulls at Citi Field on Saturday.

Speaking ahead of the game, Cushing admitted that rotation is inevitable during such a busy period, but spoke of how happy he is to see the team’s intensity and culture shine through in training, with every player keen to seize the opportunity of playing time.

“It is a three-game week, so rotation was inevitable whether it was the first game, the second game, or the third game,” Cushing said.

“I said to the team today we're training incredibly well. Our intensity and our culture is excellent at the moment

“Guys are champing at the bit to get a game, so a three-game week gives them opportunities. What I will continue to say in these press conferences and in my team meetings is that competition for places breeds consistency and delivers performances.

“I'm so proud of the team because if you look at the way the bench celebrated the third goal [against Toronto], these are guys there that really want to get on the field.

“The way they celebrate for their teammates and for the team shows me that [togetherness].”

New York City's head coach is also predicting a challenging game on Wednesday when his side take to the field in Chester, Pennsylvania.

The Union are currently in the midst of a three-game losing streak at home, but City’s head coach is taking nothing for granted when his side visit Philly this week.

“It’s going to be a difficult game,” he said.

“We've had a lot of intense games at Subaru Park. We know what that arena is like when there is a huge motivation and a huge desire to win. They're going to have that [on Wednesday] irrelevant of their past results or their form.

“They are a really hard team to get results against, especially there [at home]. There's an opportunity there for us, but we have to prepare well.

“We have to make sure that we go prepared and we go fresh. We will take the confidence and the momentum from our recent form into a trough road game."

There was also an injury update on Mounsef Bakrar after the forward missed the trip to Toronto.

Bakrar has been an ever-present in the side during the early part of the campaign, but Cushing confirmed he picked up a mild knee complaint the day before the game at BMO Field.

"He didn't make the injury report because he got some knee pain in the small sided games that we do the day before the match," Cushing said.

"It is the last thing we do before we travel so we didn't expect it. I'm really pleased that it was nothing serious. He's available. He's back in the squad. He trained today, he'll train tomorrow with the team.

"When the guys get these knee issues we want to make sure that we do it right and we do it properly. It was disappointing for him because he wanted to be in contention for the game [against Toronto], but he's really pleased that he's in contention for the game against Philadelphia."

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