Nick Cushing | "It's A Step Forward." 


Nick Cushing believes Wednesday's win against Toronto FC is a step forward for NYCFC. 

The Boys in Blue produced an impressive 5-0 win against TFC in their second Leagues Cup group game. Goals from Maxime Chanot, Mounsef Bakrar, Andres Jasson, and Santiago Rodríguez gave NYCFC a sizable advantage and put them through to the next phase of the competition. 

Speaking after the game, Cushing expressed his happiness at securing the win and confirmed it represents a step forward for his team. 

"I said after the game against Atlas, it's really clear what we have to do - we have to win and if we don't win we don't advance," Cushing said. 

"I felt there was a real hunger in training. This down period isn’t over, but I’ve been really pleased with the soul of this group - even when we haven't won no one has ever given up." 

He went on to add: "I've said before you have to be relentless with the ball and a day will come when we are ruthless and we will hurt a team. We had eight goal chances and scored five goals.  

"I'm really pleased for the group. It's a real step forward. It's not a leap forward. Now it's up to the group to make sure we don't take any steps backward because if we keep the goal chances high and we restrict the opposition we're tough to beat. Tonight we set the standard."

Cushing also discussed how his team can seek to maintain the momentum built on Wednesday. 

The Boys in Blue have endured a difficult few months in MLS with wins being few and far between. City have maintained their position just below the playoff line via a string of draws, but Wednesday's game against TFC represents their first victory in five. 

"They wanted two days off, we gave them one," Cushing said when asked how he can seek to ensure this is the team's turning point of the season. 

"I think we have to be really realistic and we have stick to the process and the process is to seek dominant performances. The performance is not so different. to the Columbus game, to the Charlotte game, to the Atlas game, in the sense that we dominate the game, how we control the game, we don't let the opposition have goal chances.

"For me it's about understanding the process, reviewing the game like we do every week, taking out the positives, and fixing the parts that we feel will help us win the next game, whoever we get. 

"There will be many positives today and many negatives. Let's not get blinded by the score. We had the best performance of our season against Charlotte and drew. So it's just about staying on the journey and enjoying it.

Striker Bakrar made his first start for the Boys in Blue after his arrival from Croatian side Istra 1961 and marked the occasion with a goal in the first half.

The Algerian youth international found the net on the stroke of halftime thanks to a well-taken finish in the penalty area to give NYCFC a 2-0 lead, and his overall performance left his manager impressed. 

"He was really good for a guy that spent two days with the team," he said. 

"I think if you're asking me in three months time, he has to take the first chance. I think coming into the ball and setting the ball and linking the game he has to improve in that area.

"I'm really enthused by his energy and his aggression and his desire to score goals. He's fitted into the team like a guy who has been here ten years. Like everyone in the locker room, we're working with him to get the real potential out. 

"I was enthused by him in the Atlas game [also]."

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